Youthquake – coined in the 1960s by the then editor of Vogue magazine Diana Vreeland – was originally a cultural movement that involved music, pop culture, and shaped the fashion industry. The word staged a comeback in the wake of the British polls in June 2017, when young voters almost carried the Labour Party to an unlikely victory. But this political awakening of the oft-maligned millennial generation is not just happening in the UK. Other examples include France, where we’ve seen Macron rise to power on the backs of the young, and the US, where Bernie Sanders has energized youth voters. As for Trump, we are seeing young people taking to the streets in protest – just not the way he planned. So why is this happening? While economics is certainly one reason, there is much more at play. Thanks to globalization and social media, young people regard themselves as global citizens. Human rights, the environment and cultural diversity are big themes for them and technology is helping turn their anger into coherent political movements. For example, protesters, such as those who marched in pussy hats after Trump’s inauguration, use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to organize their causes.
Did you know?
According to the Financial Times, the world’s two billion millennials are coming into the most important age range for economic activity – it’s a time when households are formed, babies are born, and money is spent on other things besides going out. Companies that have built their brands for baby boomers, have good reason to fear this millennial moment.
Grathwohl, Casper. “Youthquake: Behind the Scenes on Selecting the Word of the Year.” Oxford Dictionaries, December 14, 2017.