Thursday, April 03, 2003

Dead Hippies Society

A US study last year looked at baby boomer values and opinions 30 years on. The results didn’t contain too many surprises for me, but it is worth pointing out the responses to the education and world-knowledge questions.

Boomers actually respected their teachers much more than they trust today’s teachers (which latter cohort, of course, includes large numbers of themselves).

A little over one-third (36%) of 70s boomers had a great deal of confidence in people running the education system. This level of confidence has dropped to 20% among boomers now (2002).

An overall majority of boomers will cockily admit to knowing more about world events than their children. Funnily enough, though, a larger majority of these children place this mantle on their boomer parents, with the result that 8% of these parents disown the title, even while their kids sit passively in blissful ignorance.

In 2002, boomers and their children's generation disagree more compared to boomers and their parents in the 70s. Back then, when the parents of boomers were asked to assess their children's knowledge about world events, almost nine in ten agreed that young people of that day had more knowledge about things happening in the world. Looking back, there was no generation gap since 91% of boomers themselves also agreed with this statement. Boomers today are distinct from their children on this issue. A little over half (55%) of boomers in 2002 disagree that their children are more knowledgeable about world events, while 63% of their children agree that their parents (boomers) are more knowledgeable about things happening in the world.

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