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Are today's Millennials splintering into a new generational cohort? Maybe!


Correspondence to: Kathleen Debevec, Associate Professor of Marketing, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.



A new generational cohort is emerging from the Millennial market segment as a result of cataclysmic events that have occurred since 2008. Interviews with college upperclassmen in the United States identified significant events influencing their values, the values arising from these events, and new values not associated with older Millennials. The most important events identified included the Great Recession, 9/11, and the election of the first African-American president. Values of Millennials were assessed in online surveys of college juniors and seniors in the United States in the fall of 2009 and 2010 and among older Millennials, aged 27–31, during the summer of 2010. The values most strongly differentiating the younger and older Millennials were “piety” and “thrift.” Younger Millennials in the United States are less thrifty and more secular and sexually permissive than older Millennials. They are also less patriotic and less concerned about politics, sustainability, saving, and making mistakes in life. This suggests a splintering of the Millennials cohort as a result of the Great Recession and the potential emergence of a younger “entitlement” cohort. It also suggests further investigation of cross-national value shifts among younger Millennials, prompted by the Great Recession. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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