What Does This Cultural Shift Predict For The Future Of The American Family?

It’s no secret that traditional values are falling by the wayside, and today’s youth are doing things their own way.

And while every generation reflects some shift in values, perceptions, and ideals different from their parent’s generation — the current generation of young adults has shifted societal norms beyond that seen in any previous generations.

Millennials are often spoken of in the news today for their different approach to career and family norms and are often portrayed as “lazy” or “entitled.”

But what is really going on with the newest generation of adults, and how is it affecting American society as a whole?

Seeing the negative effects working too much has had on their parents and grandparents, millennials have flipped societal norms to achieve their idea of success.

Lifehack reports on some findings of the cultural shift occurring in today’s young adults:

Work is not everything millennials want in life. They would like to have time for their friends, family, hobbies, and other small pleasures and pastimes. They work to live, not live to work. That’s why the concept of lifestyle business gained so much popularity in the last decade among these folks. Millennials want to combine their passion with profit and work long hours on projects they feel passionate about, rather than helping someone else reach their profit benchmark

Yes, millennials have been bashed as “the entitled generation” too many times. Yet the reason for this is that millennials are not seeking a life-long career to pay the bills. They want a job with a purpose and to do something meaningful in life.

They are more attracted by intangible benefits like a friendly work culture, a lack of micromanagement and bureaucracy, sabbaticals, and more, along with some more palpable perks like a cool office space, permission to bring pets to work, or wellness benefits.

Many studies have been conducted on why the millennial generation wishes to go in a different direction than that of their parents.

They have seen a rise in stress and burnout in previous generations due to trying to balance family commitments and full-time careers.

And they have seen an increase in divorce and single-parenting caused by too many pressures and financial worries.

For this reason, millennial adults as a whole, but especially women, are putting off marriage and having children until much later in life then when compared to previous generations.

And while most millennials do plan to eventually marry and start families, delaying the more traditional adult timelines has perpetuated a “me” culture, eroding traditional American values.

Millennials have stated they want to fulfill their personal goals, travel, and spend time with friends before they “settle down.”

The Huffington Post reports:

“Youth raised during the times of societal instability (e.g., unemployment) and disconnection (e.g., more unmarried parents) were especially likely to endorse materialist values,” wrote the authors. “Furthermore, when a larger percentage of the nation’s economy was oriented toward advertising messages, youth were also likely to prioritize materialistic aims.”

“Materialism rose substantially from the mid-1970s through the late 1980s, peaking among members of Generation X,” the report reads. “Although materialism then declined slightly, youth in the late 2000s were significantly more oriented towards materialistic values than they were youth in the 1970s.”

And the Gallup organization reports on research found on the millennial demographic:

Contrary to what we would expect, given normal demographic patterns of adolescents’ movement into early adulthood and family formation, the data show that significantly more millennials are currently single/never married than was true for those in older generations

The face of the American family has profoundly changed during the past two generations, with millennials picking up where Gen Xers left off. Along with these changes, or perhaps as a result of them, social norms within American society have shifted — and with them, nearly every aspect of our daily lives.

While these findings certainly do not apply to all young adults of this generation, it remains to be seen what the future impact these cultural shifts will have on traditional American values in generations to come.

What do you think about the changes the millennial generation is creating in our present day society, and what impact do you think it will have on the future of traditional American values?

Let us know in the comment section below.

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