Generation Why
August 19, 2005 6:42 AM   Subscribe

Remember the Twixters? Now meet the Yeppies: Young, Experimenting Perfection Seekers1,2,3. "Another survey, another invented tag for a group of young people. This survey was for eBay, carried out by Kate Fox, a social anthropologist at the Social Issues Research Centre. It argues that young people are now shopping around and experimenting to find, as she puts it, 'the perfect job, the ideal relationship and the most fulfilling lifestyle.'" - as noted by World Wide Words. [See also: this Venn diagram.] Will researchers ever tire of all this name-calling, though? If they really want to RTFM about this particular generation, they should just watch Wonderfalls.
posted by Lush (18 comments total)
posted by jonmc at 6:56 AM on August 19, 2005

a survey? for eBay? A new generation? All I can say is:

posted by HuronBob at 6:56 AM on August 19, 2005

Kate Fox wrote the book Watching the British, of which I have read a couple of chapters. Looks pretty good.
posted by grouse at 6:56 AM on August 19, 2005


Shouldn't that be, "DIE YEPPIE SCEM!"?
posted by Dagobert at 7:02 AM on August 19, 2005

posted by delmoi at 7:18 AM on August 19, 2005

Seems accurate enough. What will be the lasting social consequences though? Blood in the streets when people realize that work can't be fulfilling? A "lost" generation when the children of the Yeppies grow up under horrible parenting?
In other words, why should we care?
posted by sandking at 7:29 AM on August 19, 2005

So this is where indoor plumbing has led us. Everyone wants comfort and happiness, when our forebears understood that life is a dull, meaningless pit of despair with the occasional slice of birthday cake.

Nice Wonderfalls reference!
posted by ktoad at 7:52 AM on August 19, 2005

why can't we be generation wtf?
posted by foot at 8:38 AM on August 19, 2005

I've grown tired of reading this same fluff piece every time a consultant publishes a book about people aged 12-55.

Please wake me when we reach the Generational Singularity. We'll all be members of Generation (n-1) and everything we think and do will make sense from a marketing perspective.
posted by eatitlive at 8:41 AM on August 19, 2005

I am not a target demographic, I am a free man...
posted by johnny novak at 8:47 AM on August 19, 2005

SO basically, this generation is trying to live like they see on "Cribs" and E! and not realizing that your job will never afford you that, so they run up credit cards to the highest peak and then ask why they're so unhappy?

Nothing is perfect. A happy person is one who can understand and work with compromise. That's the success in any relationship, job, etc.
posted by eljuanbobo at 9:08 AM on August 19, 2005

I second foot's suggestion!

I really dislike when people label generations. It's such condescension. I mean I understand looking out for social trends and stuff, but one label sweeps exceptions under the rug. Plus, they can't even come up with a cool name. What's up with that??
posted by state fxn at 9:20 AM on August 19, 2005

I'm a generation of one.
posted by mkhall at 9:23 AM on August 19, 2005

Heh. You really have to wonder about sociology done on a marketing budget. I mean, there's an inherent contridiction between perfection and a willingness to experiment. True experimentalists have no respect for perfection. But the sort of experimentalists you see, for example, in the Neo-Platonists are all for experimenting as long as it confirms their primitive, Christian worldviews. These experimentalists are really conformists. What this women means to say is that these kids are especially pliable to advertising. Because they have no idea what they want, only that they want "perfection," marketers should feel free to step in and dictate the perfect lifestyle to these kids.
posted by nixerman at 9:29 AM on August 19, 2005

What nixerman said

Man I need to get sweet job like that where I can get grants to study spoiled, media-saturated kids, come up with a few cool buzz-words, and pass it off as "anthropology".

They're all just slackers, same as me.
posted by elendil71 at 9:58 AM on August 19, 2005

Okay, after nixerman's and elendil71's excellent points I feel better about coming in and grousing: this woman is not an anthropologist. She doesn't have a doctorate or any (easily found) peer reviewed publications. She is a consultant, probably with an undergrad in anthropology. Arg!
posted by carmen at 10:12 AM on August 19, 2005

Ah, johnny novak, so you're part of the "free man" target demographic. Interesting. *scribbles note on clipboard*.
posted by Herr Fahrstuhl at 11:47 AM on August 19, 2005

Everybody wants to create the new buzzword. Jumping the shark could be used in so many ways, meme was pretty intresting, yuppies were a real phenomemnon, freegan was funny but this just falls short.
Join me in my pledge to never use the word mentioned above.
posted by klik99 at 12:22 PM on August 19, 2005

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