Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Those Damn Kids

Just wanted to quick touch on the Wisconsin State Journal article on a new study that claims college students are more egotistical and self-centered today than previous generations. I'm sure the study is based on some fine academic work in the field of psychology, but I can't help but wonder how much of it is typical older people complaints about younger people.

It reminds me a bit of an article Walter Lippmann wrote in the mid-1930s about how the generation that was coming-of-age at the time wasn't worth a damn. Interesting how that assessment turned out.

This isn't to say that younger people are above collective scrutiny. But, rather, it seems to me they often aren't all that different than the rest of society, even if they may express themselves in different ways than older people.

To be sure, individualism has always been a strong facet of American society, although it has manifested itself in different ways throughout US history. And, in the last few decades, individualism has moved from a primarily intrinsic embodiment to an aspect that defines social interactions, as well, making egotistical and self-centered attitudes into logical corollaries.

As historian Christopher Lasch put it at the dawn of the 1980s, ours is a culture of narcissism.


On another note, I want to put in a plug for the Frontline episode that's set to air tonight at 8:00pm. It's part three in a four-part series on the media. I caught bits and pieces of the previous two episodes on journalists and the First Amendment, and it was very good stuff.

But tonight's episode is that one that will be of most interest to bloggers. Part III, entitled "What's Happening to the News," investigates the growing pressures on traditional broadcast and newspaper media by cable television and the Internet. Should be more good stuff.

UPDATE: In case you missed it, or want to watch it again, you can view Part III of the Frontline series on media here. Especially interesting is the section where LA Times parent company execs explain why the paper's 20 percent profit margin just isn't enough for Wall Street (see clips 21 & 22 for that story).

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home