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"Young people are the new puritans"

 
 
nimh
 
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 06:20 am
The article is about the under-25s in Belgium.. do you think there's an echo of it in your country too?

I dont know about under-25s, specifically, in the Netherlands, but when it comes to trends in general social/cultural/political values, many have remarked on a similar thrust in Dutch politics in recent years.

A more conservative, less permissive take on cultural issues is on the upswing in the Netherlands. So is a renewed preference for more collectivist economic politics, ranging from the newly communitarian focus of the Christian-Democrats to the leftwing populism of the Socialists. Reluctance vis-a-vis continued immigration flows and scepticism towards the EU tie into the picture as well. The underlying trend is a turn away from the liberal [European use of the word] fetishisation of the individual and the market, of globalisation and liberalisation, that we saw in the 1990s.

Among Belgian youths, apparently, the combination is one between an increase in moral conservatism as expressed in disapproval of things like drunkenness, undisciplined children, and smoking parents; and an upswing for the notion of collective responsibility, in which those who do not pull their weight on environmentalism and healthy living are censured.

Quote:
"Young people are the new puritans"

10 July 2007

BRUSSELS - After the over-65s, young people under the age of 25 have the strictest social standards of all Belgians, according to a survey among 1,822 people by Mediapoll and Fieldforce in May 2007.

Young people under the age of 25 are much more disapproving of drunkenness, racist comments, inconsideration for nature, undisciplined children, and not wearing a seatbelt than people in their 30s and 40s are. "The post-war generation was permissive, but you cannot say that of the young people under 25 at the moment: they are the new puritans," says Herman Konings of research bureau Pocket Marketing/nXt, which analysed the results.

In six of the 13 situations mentioned, under-25s were even stricter than over-65s: racist comments (77 percent of the young people consider these unacceptable, compared to 55 percent of over-65s), inconsideration for nature (52 versus 48 percent), parents who do not keep control of their children (71 versus 68 percent), pregnant women smoking or drinking (68 versus 46 percent), parents who do not urge overweight children to lead a healthier life (64 versus 52 percent) and sloppy writing (26.6 versus 25.5 percent).

When it comes to nature, health, racism and childrearing, under-25s have stricter standards than the rest of the population. "Nature and health are clearly new areas in which young people have much stricter standards," says Herman Konings.

Belgian society is also becoming more socially correct but less permissive, compared to survey results from 1999. A third of the young people under 25 is more socially engaged than in 1999. And 90 percent of the Belgians today think that discipline should replace the more permissive model of childrearing. In 1999 only 68 percent was a supporter of this.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 07:00 am
Plus ça change . . .

Young people are basically intolerant--much more so than people who have gone through life and learned some hard lessons. Whether you are talking about young political conservatives, or young political liberals, they hold their beliefs with the tenacity and the fanaticism of the religiously devout. Karl Rove, who is almost exactly my age, joined the Republican party in university, and i believe he was involved in Republican politics in high school. When i was a university student, the Vietnam War was opposed by the SDS--Students for a Democratic Society--the more radical members of which would later form the Weather Underground, a left-wing extremist group which saw themselves as liberation terrorists, although they were largely ineffective

But at every anti-war demonstration, shouting at the SDS, and often engaging in fist fights with them, was the YAF--The Young Americans for Freedom--a right-wing youth group which was the mirror image and polar opposite of the SDS. In those days of "free love" and the contraceptive pill, every campus also had its contingent of evangelistic student groups who preached in public places against sin and promiscuity.

I'd say, there's nothing new under the sun.
0 Replies
 
LionTamerX
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 07:03 am
I agree with Setanta.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 07:24 am
Re: "Young people are the new puritans"
nimh wrote:
A more conservative, less permissive take on cultural issues is on the upswing in the Netherlands. So is a renewed preference for more collectivist economic politics, ranging from the newly communitarian focus of the Christian-Democrats to the leftwing populism of the Socialists. Reluctance vis-a-vis continued immigration flows and scepticism towards the EU tie into the picture as well. The underlying trend is a turn away from the liberal [European use of the word] fetishisation of the individual and the market, of globalisation and liberalisation, that we saw in the 1990s.

I'm curious: Why is it a preference when you agree with it and a fetishisation when you don't? Should I adopt a similar distinction between my writing and your drivel?

To answer your question though, I have read claims similar to yours in German newspapers, but cannot tell either way from personal experience. When I compare the unrepresentative samples of 20 year old Germans I knew 20 years ago and 20 year old Germans I know now, I see wide variation in both, and little difference on average.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 08:15 am
I think I might have a skewed view, because the "young people" (under 25's) I spend my days with definitely aren't puritans (in that they observe a stricter moral code than the majority of people).

But even in the general public, no, I can't say I see it evidenced as any sort of large scale trend; especially if I'm just going on outward behaviors I'd have to say, I'd have pretty much the opposite impression (here in England- I haven't been back to the US in a year and a half now).

But I guess to get any kind of real sense of what their beliefs about any of these things are, you'd have to have some kind of venue or arena to get into a contrasting and comparative discussion of ideas. Maybe their ideas and beliefs are more puritanical than what their actual behaviors would lead you to believe.

Although I know more puritanically inclined people are probably more conservative politically- I tend to think of "being" puritanical as more of an innate personality trait than anything else. I don't think having and observing standards is puritanical. Maybe it's just the way the word has been used and mongrolized over the years, but to me it indicates a rigid, repressed and anally retentive personality type moreso than a politically conservative trend- or especially what has been outlined here as a concern for environmental and individual health.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 08:27 am
Aiden's response reminded me of a reaction i had when i read the article.

Quote:
Young people under the age of 25 are much more disapproving of drunkenness, racist comments, inconsideration for nature, undisciplined children, and not wearing a seatbelt than people in their 30s and 40s are.


How is that someone would allege that the disapproval of the behavior i have bold-faced above is puritanical? Seems a stretch to me.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 09:38 am
Re: "Young people are the new puritans"
Thomas wrote:
I'm curious: Why is it a preference when you agree with it and a fetishisation when you don't? Should I adopt a similar distinction between my writing and your drivel?

I dont really understand your problem. I copy/pasted an interesting story and added my personal take on what is happening and what's been said in my country in this regard. And my personal take will reflect my personal opinion, yeah. It's not like I was doing research here - just giving my perspective.

If instead of just pasting in an interesting story about the EU, say, you add your own take on what it means and how that kind of thing plays out in Germany, I expect your take to also be just that - your take. You might describe a trend towards collectivist, populist politics as a "unfortunate", for example, and a program of economic reforms as "needed". Cause thats how you see it. <shrugs>
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 04:25 pm
Re: "Young people are the new puritans"
nimh wrote:
I dont really understand your problem.

I didn't say I have a problem, I said I'm curious. You answered my question, thanks.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 05:34 pm
When I was graduating from university, I thought the frosh were stodgy/conservative/too goal-oriented.

Ten years later, I thought that about teenagers I was meeting in high schools.

Now I think nearly everyone's stodgy.

Seriously.

~~~

Setanta and I went to a lovely formal wedding about 10 days ago. The charming young couple (and I do adore many things about them, or we wouldn't have been there), make the hamburgers seem like hippies in the way they approach/approached life/marriage. They think I'm a flaming social radical, and the bride sort of took a risk inviting us to the wedding.

Very serious, these young uns.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Tue 10 Jul, 2007 09:43 pm
Set stole my answer, dammit.

God, I was a prude at 17....
0 Replies
 
Quincy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jul, 2007 09:05 am
Wat die donner! That's definitely not the case here. I never knew youngsters had 'morals' and 'standards'.
0 Replies
 
sweettart
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jul, 2007 09:34 am
I voted no. The young people I know are more resistant to smoking, racism and damaging the environment. But, when I think of Puritans I think of people uptight about sex. The young people today are more loose about sex, orientation and covering themselves than the Puritans would ever want to be associated with.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Jul, 2007 02:14 pm
Thank you all for your posts.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2007 10:04 am
Setanta wrote:
Plus ça change . . .

Young people are basically intolerant--much more so than people who have gone through life and learned some hard lessons. Whether you are talking about young political conservatives, or young political liberals, they hold their beliefs with the tenacity and the fanaticism of the religiously devout. Karl Rove, who is almost exactly my age, joined the Republican party in university, and i believe he was involved in Republican politics in high school. When i was a university student, the Vietnam War was opposed by the SDS--Students for a Democratic Society--the more radical members of which would later form the Weather Underground, a left-wing extremist group which saw themselves as liberation terrorists, although they were largely ineffective

But at every anti-war demonstration, shouting at the SDS, and often engaging in fist fights with them, was the YAF--The Young Americans for Freedom--a right-wing youth group which was the mirror image and polar opposite of the SDS. In those days of "free love" and the contraceptive pill, every campus also had its contingent of evangelistic student groups who preached in public places against sin and promiscuity.

I'd say, there's nothing new under the sun.

I was the founder of a chapter of Young Americans for Freedom,
but we never had anything against free love
( nor reasonably priced love ) nor had we anything against contraceptive pills.
David
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2007 10:08 am
I did not state that the YAF opposed "free love" or contraceptive pills. In fact, i described the opposition to those as "evangelistic student groups."
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2007 10:19 am
Thanks for the clarification.


" Those were the DAYS, my friend.
We thought thay 'd NEVER end... "
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2007 10:23 am
Personally, i don't believe in "the good ol' days." I wouldn't do it over for all the tea in China.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2007 10:47 am
I enjoyed them.
I really did.

I wish that the universe were constructed
such that we cud slide back into them, at will,
and re-enjoy them once again.

I 'd LOVE to be able to correct my mistakes
and take advantage of forfeited opportunities
.


Carly Simon makes a good case that
" THESE ARE the good old days "
David
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2007 10:54 am
In 1969, you could be drafted and die in a foreign war, which is not true today.

In 1969, you could contract a venereal disease, and have no access to a public health system which were prepared to deal with your condition; that is not true today.

In 1969, if you were involved in an automobile accident, the odds were high that there were no seat belts; there were no shoulder belts (except in race cars or exotic imports), there were no child car seats or other child restraints, and there were no air bags--highway deaths routinely topped 50,000 per annum.

In 1969, you could be exposed to cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke sitting in your doctor's waiting room.

In 1969, we could never have had this conversation, because there were no personal computers, and there was no internet.

In 1969, if you were in a highway accident, there was no "911" center to call, and no cell phones to use to call for help.

I enjoyed myself, too--but then, i was a callow, ignorant youth.

I don't believe in "the good ol' days."
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Jul, 2007 10:56 am
Hey David - I just wanted to come by and say thanks for posting in a more readable way - it really is making a difference in my ability to read and appreciate some of your posts.


(not saying I agree with everything you say, but I do appreciate the opportunity to actually read your posts)
0 Replies
 
 

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