WRD 104: Composition & Rhetoric II Rotating Header Image

Researching Katelyn’s question: why is my generation referred to as “entitled”?

For example, millennials’ perceived entitlement isn’t a result of overprotection but an adaptation to a world of abundance. “For almost all of human history, almost everyone was a small-scale farmer. And then people were farmers and factory workers. Nobody gets very much fulfillment from either of those things,” says Jeffrey Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University

[…] In fact, a lot of what counts as typical millennial behavior is how rich kids have always behaved. The Internet has democratized opportunity for many young people, giving them access and information that once belonged mostly to the wealthy.

So the great thing is that they do feel entitled to all of this, so they’ll be more innovative and more willing to try new things and they’ll do all this cool stuff.” 

Time: Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation: Why millennials will save us all 

Morrow (2008) has developed a theoretical framework delineating the origins of the mindset of entitlement displayed by Millenials. His research highlights the fact that members of this generation tend to have had child centered parents who exhibited a “trophies for all” attitude in what were previously competitive activities. Such parental attitudes and behaviors create unrealistic expectations by the children who are often unable to comprehend that not everyone wins and that their efforts may often result in failure.

Morrow also addresses the phenomenon of “helicopter parents”, or those parents who “hover” over their children and impede a child’s development of a good sense of independence and responsibility. This practice may have contributed to the Millenial’s risk adversity and fear of ambiguity (Hershatter & Epstein, 2010).

A Study of the Cognitive Determinants of Generation Y’s Entitlement Mentality 
The increases in self-esteem and narcissism indicate that self-centredness and self-love are rising. Are these good or bad for society? Narcissistic individuals are said to have poor empathy and, not surprisingly, favour themselves over others and tend to over-react to criticism. Twenge calls this Generation Me. These changes lead to the perception of an Age of Entitlement. Trzesniewski and Donnellan (2010) showed that the younger generation was becoming more materialistic. Becoming more materialistic with increased self-esteem may indicate moving towards an age of entitlement
Age of entitlement and the young: Implications for social psychiatry