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Millennial Momentum

How a New Generation Is Remaking America

Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais

Publication Year: 2011

About every eight decades, coincident with the most stressful and perilous events in U.S. history—the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and the Great Depression and World War II—a new, positive, accomplished, and group-oriented “civic generation” emerges to change the course of history and remake America. The Millennial Generation (born 1982–2003) is America’s newest civic generation.

In their 2008 book, Millennial Makeover, Morley Winograd and Michael D. Hais made a prescient argument that the Millennial Generation would change American politics for good. Later that year, a huge surge of participation from young voters helped to launch Barack Obama into the White House.

Now, in Millennial Momentum, Winograd and Hais investigate how the beliefs and practices of the Millennials are transforming other areas of American culture, from education to entertainment, from the workplace to the home, and from business to politics and government. The Millennials’ cooperative ethic and can-do spirit have only just begun to make their mark, and are likely to continue to reshape American values for decades to come.

Drawing from an impressive array of demographic data, popular texts, and personal interviews, the authors show how the ethnically diverse, socially tolerant, and technologically fluent Millennials can help guide the United States to retain its leadership of the world community and the global marketplace. They also illustrate why this generation’s unique blend of civic idealism and savvy pragmatism will enable us to overcome the internal culture wars and institutional malaise currently plaguing the country. Millennial Momentum offers a message of hope for a deeply divided nation.

Published by: Rutgers University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

Although we accept full responsibility for everything we have written in these pages, we want to gratefully acknowledge the numerous contributions others have made to our efforts. We continue to recognize and appreciate the remarkable intellectual...

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pp. 1-5

To have a clear sense of where America is headed in the future requires a thorough understanding of the behaviors and attitudes of the Millennial Generation, young Americans born between 1982 and 2003. Millennials...

Part One: Change Creates Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

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pp. 7-61

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1. Welcome to the Millennial Era

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pp. 9-25

In May 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson journeyed to Ann Arbor to address the graduating class of the University of Michigan at the “Big House,” the university’s 100,000-seat football stadium. Forty-six years later, another president...

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2. Millennials Are About to Take Over America

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pp. 26-43

During America’s Great Depression an exciting new technology, movies coupled with sound, provided a temporary escape from the feelings of fear, uncertainty, and doubt that had descended on the nation...

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3. Fighting Over America’s Future

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pp. 44-61

Throughout American history, transitions to new eras have never gone smoothly, particularly when the shift is from an idealist or ideological era to a more pragmatic, civic one. Whether it was the fear of mob rule in a democracy...

Part Two: Changing America’s Government

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pp. 63-118

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4. Judging the Fourth Turning

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pp. 65-82

At the beginning of fourth turnings, when the influence of a new civic generation is just beginning to be felt, the Supreme Court has been heavily populated by justices who are members of an earlier, idealist generation...

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5. Crowdsourcing the Congress

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pp. 83-101

Although generational change does not come to the Congress as slowly as it does to the Supreme Court, the power of incumbency and the age requirements for holding office do present obstacles to younger generations trying...

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6. The Challenge of Presidential Leadership in a Fourth Turning

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pp. 102-118

Every marketing student learns that the four “Ps” of the discipline—product, price, place (distribution), and promotion— are the key to a successful sales campaign. Presidential leadership also requires the mastery of four Ps in order...

Part Three: Changing the Way Americans Work and Learn

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pp. 119-190

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7. Leadership for a New Economic Era

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pp. 121-137

Like their GI Generation great-grandparents before them, members of the Millennial Generation began to enter the workforce in significant numbers just when the American economy was shedding jobs at a record pace...

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8. Confronting Corporate Life

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pp. 138-155

One of the more popular sitcoms of the past decade is The Office, a running satire on the pain and surreal nature of working in the world of corporate cubicles and hierarchy. Mining the same rich vein of the humor-of-the-absurd portrayed...

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9. Building Better Learning Communities

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pp. 156-174

America’s educational institutions are critical to the country’s future, and are in dire need of transformation. How Millennials are educated, what they learn, and how much it costs to teach them will go a long way in determining...

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10. Taking Higher Education Higher

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pp. 175-190

Millennials are convinced that college is the ticket to a better life. Ninety percent of high school students say they want to get some sort of additional education when they graduate, and two-thirds enroll in a...

Part Four: Changing the Way Americans Live

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pp. 191-280

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11. Millennial Family Lifestyles

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pp. 193-209

The economic circumstances and educational experiences of Millennials have had a profound effect on the generation’s attitudes about where they want to live and the type of families they want to raise as they become adults...

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12. Let Millennials Entertain You

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pp. 210-225

While changes in generational attitudes toward such institutions as marriage and parenting effect deep and profound shifts in society, most casual observations of differences in generations tend to focus on more superficial behaviors...

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13. Changing the World

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pp. 226-244

Millennials have been taught since they were toddlers that the best way to solve a societal problem is to act upon it locally, directly, and as a part of a larger group. Tired of exalted rhetoric from Boomer leaders that rarely produced...

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14. Making Over American Politics

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pp. 245-263

The enthusiasm and unity of the Millennial Generation completely transformed America’s political landscape in 2008, so that when Barack Obama took office his Democratic Party held the high ground. Obama’s 7-percentage-point...

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15. Building a New Civic Ethos

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pp. 264-280

The Constitutional Convention of 1787 is often thought of as the decisive moment when the country finally resolved the paradox of popular rule and the need for a strong, stable, national government. In fact, however, the adoption...

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Note on Data Sources and Analyses

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pp. 281-282

The Ideological and Operational scales referenced in chapter 3 were originally developed by Lloyd A. Free and Hadley Cantril using data collected in specially commissioned national surveys conducted in 1964 by Gallup...


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pp. 283-302


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pp. 303-327

About the Authors

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pp. 329

E-ISBN-13: 9780813552286
E-ISBN-10: 0813552281
Print-ISBN-13: 9780813551500

Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2011