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Maybe it is fear, not entitlement

I generally dislike generalizations about generations. Any such generalization vastly ignores or simplifies the lived experience of those within the generation, smoothing over differences to falsify coherence or, more cynically, to sell books or speaking engagements. To draw from personal experience, I am a tail-end Gen-Xer, a latchkey kid from a single parent home. Yet I was also rural, poor, and white. All of those things matter when you tell my story, and make it pretty different from my friends who grew up in wealthy Detroit suburbs or black and middle-class in South Carolina.

This is not a rant about generations or generalizing. I just want to ask a question about a particular generalization of millennials, part of a story we have told ourselves, especially as educators, that millennials are “entitled” and “don’t want to work their way into or up from anything”. I have heard and experienced this stereotype as a teacher a lot. Like some stereotypes, experience bears out their trut…

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