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Kids These Days: The Making of Millennials

Kids These Days: The Making of Millennials

by Malcolm Harris
Kids These Days: The Making of Millennials

Kids These Days: The Making of Millennials

by Malcolm Harris


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In Kids These Days, early Wall Street occupier Malcolm Harris gets real about why the Millennial generation has been wrongly stereotyped, and dares us to confront and take charge of the consequences now that we are grown up.

Millennials have been stereotyped as lazy, entitled, narcissistic, and immature. We've gotten so used to sloppy generational analysis filled with dumb clichés about young people that we've lost sight of what really unites Millennials. Namely:

We are the most educated and hardworking generation in American history. We poured historic and insane amounts of time and money into preparing ourselves for the 21st-century labor market. We have been taught to consider working for free (homework, internships) a privilege for our own benefit. We are poorer, more medicated, and more precariously employed than our parents, grandparents, even our great grandparents, with less of a social safety net to boot.

Kids These Days is about why. In brilliant, crackling prose, early Wall Street occupier Malcolm Harris gets mercilessly real about our maligned birth cohort. Examining trends like runaway student debt, the rise of the intern, mass incarceration, social media, and more, Harris gives us a portrait of what it means to be young in America today that will wake you up and piss you off.

Millennials were the first generation raised explicitly as investments, Harris argues, and in Kids These Days he dares us to confront and take charge of the consequences now that we are grown up.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316510851
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 09/11/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 394,159
Product dimensions: 5.55(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.95(d)

About the Author

Malcolm Harris is a freelance writer and an editor at the New Inquiry. His work has appeared in the New Republic, Bookforum, the Village Voice, n+1, and the New York Times Magazine. He lives in Philadelphia.

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

Chapter 1 Danny Dunn and the Homework Machine 13

1.1 The Pedagogical Mask 15

1.2 Kid-Shaped Capital 21

1.3 Risky Child-Rearing 26

1.4 Helicopter Parents, Vigilante Moms, and Zero Tolerance 32

1.5 Xtremely Sad Teens 38

1.6 I Guess This Is Growing Up 40

Chapter 2 Go to College 42

2.1 The Average Student 43

2.2 Anyone Can Afford a Brand-New Diploma 46

2.3 Why Is College So Expensive? 49

2.4 Failing Reform School 58

2.5 When Is a Default Not a Default? 61

2.6 The Student Debt Time Machine 63

Chapter 3 Work (Sucks) 66

3.1 The Changing Character of Work 69

3.2 Getting Paid 71

3.3 Polarization 75

3.4 The Feminization of Labor 78

3.5 Precarity 82

3.6 Nice Work If You Can Get It 85

3.7 Deunionization 89

3.8 Just Get an Intern 91

3.9 Owners and Profiteers 96

Chapter 4 The Feds 104

4.1 Not-So-Entitled Millennial 107

4.2 The Juvenilization of Poverty 110

4.3 Left Behind in the Race to the Top 114

4.4 Cops 120

4.5 Pens 125

4.6 Murderers 129

Chapter 5 Everybody Is a Star 131

5.1 Post-Soviet Training 133

5.2 Trophies and Moneyball 136

5.3 Big Workers on Campus 140

5.4 Toddlers in Tiaras 147

5.5 The Birth of Tweens 153

5.6 YouTube and Fruity Loops 156

Chapter 6 Behavior Modification 164

6.1 Bad Brains 166

6.2 Pills 173

6.3 Social Media 177

6.4 Good Habits 188

6.5 Porn 195

Conclusion 199

Seven Signs of the Bad Future 200

1 Human Capital Contracts 201

2 Professionalization of Childhood 202

3 Climate Privilege 203

4 Discrimination by Algorithm 204

5 The Malfunctioning 206

6 Misogynist Backlash 207

7 Fully Tracked 208

Bop It Solutions 210

Buy It! 212

Vote It! 215

Give It! 219

Protest It! 222

Put It Down! 225

Final Word 227

Acknowledgments 231

Notes 233

Graph Credits 249

Index 251

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