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Saturday, March 21, 2009

The hogwash of generational differences

Black people behave like XX, White people like YY, Latinos like ZZ and the Chinese like a combination of XX+YY+ZZ. Rubbish you say and you would be right.

How about Muslims behave like AA, Christians like BB and Jews like CC and Taoists like a bit of this and a bit of that. Rubbish you say and you would be right.

So why do people keep trying to make massive generations about how Xers, Gen Yers, Millennials and Boomers behave?

Crude stereotypes about race and religion often chime with out prejudices but sensible people dismiss them as simplistic and more dangerous than helpful.

So when you see a table, like the one above, breaking down the behaviour of the US workforce into a few snappy sentences then your warning bells should start ringing.

Have I heard some old guy whining on about how in his day things were done like XYZ – of course I have. Maybe there are few more of them around then there should be, but please don’t apply this conclusion to 76 million Americans.

Funnily enough the crude stereotype that I hear mostly applied to the young, by people I encounter, is that they are so conservative, risk averse and unwilling to think outside the box.

However, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to apply that to all young people. Pity the author of this article didn’t have a bit more sense. Dick Stroud

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