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Are Millennials More Self-Sacrificing and Community-Minded Than Previous Generations?

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For those who pay attention to the different opinions and declarations on how the various generations are different than the ones that came before, you have no doubt heard that while Generation X was the slacker generation, Gen Y, or the Millennials, are very different, the most community service-minded, action-oriented, let’s change-the-world-generation alive today, perhaps in the history of our nation. Generation We.

It’s taken as a nearly uncontested reality.

Except it’s not true.

The best research on this topic, relying on nationally representative research by the leading scholars on the issue comes to essentially the very opposite conclusion. Two of these scholars are Professors Jean Twenge (San Diego State) and Christian Smith (Notre Dame). They find that Generation We is more like Generation Me.

They explain that the “Generation We” understanding of Millennials comes from surveys that examined relatively small, non-representative population samples and did not compare them with previous generations, the kind of compelling but incomplete study that catches the attention of journalists. And thus, the myriad of newspaper and magazine stories contributing to the myth.

[Read the rest of the article at The Gospel Coalition Blog.]

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