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GenY & the Millennials: Social Stratification & Expectations


From the first e-Activity, discuss the possible future consequences to individuals and society as a whole if Generation Y / Millennials cannot live better than previous generations.
•As a current college student, you likely anticipate a college education allowing you to raise your future income opportunities. Discuss your expectations of how a college education can elevate your position in society.

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Social Stratification & Outcomes

Society had always been stratified. Even in social hierarchies that purport upholding 'equality' (i.e. communes), power and influence is not distributed equally. Consider for example the unequal distribution of power and influence in communist nations (i.e. Russia, Cuba, North Korea), ironically founded on ideals that everyone must be equal, no one richer or poorer. In Russia we have oligarchs, in China, we have tycoons and 'princelings' (sons and daughters of communist party leaders) and in Cuba, the cronies of Castro, Inc. Social stratification is defined as such (Levy, n.d.), "a system by which society ranks categories of people in a hierarchy." He presented the following points in a guide to the concept (Levy, n.d.):

"There are four fundamental principles of stratification:
1. Social stratification is a characteristic of society -- not just due to
individual differences
2. Social stratification persists over generations. Yet, most societies allow some sort of social mobility or changes in people's position in a system of social stratification
a. Social mobility may be upward, downward, or horizontal
b. Social stratification is universal but variable (it changes)
c. Social stratification involves both inequality and beliefs"
Additionally, he noted that (Levy, n.d.), "Stratification is usually based on three major premises: a. Power: the ability to impose one's will on others, b. Prestige: the respect given by others & c. Property: forms of wealth."

Thus, whatever generation, whatever social and chronological situatedness of society, it will always be stratified, no matter the political claim contrary to that. Thus, the present generation is as stratified as ever, as will the future of the current crop of younger generations - Generation Y, also known as the Millenials. Main (2013) described this generation as, " the generation of people born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s...It has also been called the Peter Pan or Boomerang Generation because of the propensity of some to move back in with their parents, perhaps due to economic constraints, and a growing tendency to delay some of the typical adulthood rites of passage like ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above on GenY/Millenials and the challenges of inequality and social stratification. Resources are listed for further exploration of the topic.