For my final project, I have decided to talk about the oppression of and struggle to maintain an identity that Generation Y, known as the millennial generation, faces. Too many times I have seen articles published in online journals criticizing and ridiculing millennials for something as simple as their choice to not eat cereal for breakfast. All too often I have made the decision to peruse the comments of these articles, either directly from the sites, or on third party social media platforms where the articles have been shared; and all too often have I seen people from older generations tearing into the millennials for their choices, calling them things ranging from “lazy” to “ignorant bastard”.
I have chosen to write this paper because if ever there was a time to point out to the people ragging on the millennials that what they say can be destructive to the already shaky identity of a generation born right on the cusp of a new century, then that time is now. As it stands right now, suicide is the third leading cause of death for people in the millennial age group. One of the top reasons people take their lives is because of low self-esteem. What causes someone’s self-esteem to plummet so low that death seems like the only reasonable solution to their problems? Out of many answers, among mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, are outside factors like bullying. And people of the millennial age group are some of the most publicly victimized generations yet. This paper will hopefully be one of the many stepping stones on the road to fixing the issues that millennials face when dealing with their identities.
There are a few concepts that we have discussed in class that I will be using to analyze this topic. These include, but are not limited to, the idea of a habitus, epistemologies, and boundary work. The reason I have picked these themes are because of how closely they deal with the infringement of other people’s ideas about identities. Both themes of a habitus and an epistemology deal with how people form thoughts about their own identity, as well as the identities of groups they belong to. Both a habitus and an epistemology are shaped by two major forces. The first major force is how the person perceives their own identity. The second major force is how the person feels outsiders perceive their identity. These two themes play into boundary work because of how a person reacts when their identity is seemingly threatened, or their perception of an identity does not fit with what they previously believed. All of these themes come into play with the struggle millennials face when trying to maintain or shape their own identity.