By Jessica Taft
Whenever I read yet another commentary that purports to describe the characteristics of millennials I can’t help but sigh and roll my eyes a bit. How will they be characterized today, I wonder? Self-absorbed? Socialists? Apathetic? Entrepreneurial? Fragile? Resilient? Unfortunately, the tendency to generalize about generations, especially when that generation’s members are in their youth or young adulthood, is pervasive. While I firmly believe that sociologists should engage with the vital question of how a group’s shared experiences growing up in a particular historical and social context shapes their identities, including their political identities, the nuances often get lost and oversimplified when generational thinking is deployed in news and popular culture. So it is with some serious hesitation that I enter into this dialogue about millennials and activism.