The characteristic art form of our age may be the business plan
November 14, 2011 10:20 AM Subscribe
Previous youth cultures — beatniks, hippies, punks, slackers — could be characterized by two related things: the emotion or affect they valorized and the social form they envisioned.
posted by AlsoMike (29 comments total)
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Reversing the usual criticism of the Millennial Generation as entitled and unwilling to work, William Deresiewicz (previously
) argues in a new essay that the leading edge of this generation is the spirit of entrepreneurialism.
And if the ideal social form is the small business, the ideal Millennial emotion is business-friendly. Polite, pleasant, moderate, earnest and friendly -- these are the personal characteristics most favorable to building your niche in the capitalist network. Deresiewicz says ominously, "The self today is an entrepreneurial self, a self that’s packaged to be sold."
But is the age of the Entrepreneurial Self already waning? With the global financial crisis and the Occupy Wall Street protests in the United States, is the next generation ready to turn in their copies of "How To Win Friends and Influence People" for something with a bit more edge?
Affability is a commercial virtue, but it is also the affect of people who feel themselves to be living in a fundamentally agreeable society. Already, the makings of a new youth culture may be locking into place.