Infantilization of society


Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to Stanley, an octogenarian acquaintance of mine who I have the pleasure of chatting with occassionally. He commented on how  youth nowadays are constantly on their cell phones and do little else to enrich their lives or participate in civic and social life. This brought me to my contention that the infantilization of the United States has brought forth a generation of Americans who are not as productive, studious, or entrepeneurial as other generations. Americans who feel entitled, who see nothing wrong with living with their parents into their mid-thirties, can be seen playing video games, and not taking responsibility for their lives, in general.

Partially to blame for the high incidence of young adults living at home would be the recession, but I still get the feeling that the infantilization of the United States has been underway for quite some time now and is to blame for creating an atmosphere where a whole generation of young adults is wholly unprepared to handle the stress of adulthood.

FT_17.05.03_livingAtHome_byGen2A recent Pew Research study confirms some of my suspicions,

“As of 2016, 15% of 25 to 35-year-old Millennials were living in their parents’ home. This is 5 percentage points higher than the share of Generation Xers who lived in their parents’ home in 2000 when they were the same age (10%), and nearly double the share of the Silent Generation who lived at home in 1964 (8%).”

Simon Pegg, an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer wrote about the infantilization of the United States in a blog post where he sustains that this was all predicted by the French philosopher and cultural theorist, Jean Baudrillard in his book, ‘America’.

Explaining the phenomenon of infantilization, he states,

“Put simply, this is the idea that as a society, we are kept in a state of arrested development by dominant forces in order to keep us more pliant. We are made passionate about the things that occupied us as children as a means of drawing our attentions away from the things we really should be invested in, inequality, corruption, economic injustice etc.”

What do you think?




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