Millennials, The New Hippies

Are millennials the hippies of today?

Typically when you think Hippie you think of that free love, “fuck the man” mentality that is popularized by movies, documentaries, stereotypes, etc. and that is true but what else makes up the values of the Hippie sub-culture? Hippies were usually non-conformist, young people of the 60’s and 70’s that found the political scenario of the time very displeasing and wanted to see a change in the values of American’s during The Cold War. Hippies were all about enjoying yourself, opening your mind, and making a difference by spreading peace, love, and tolerance as well as peacefully protesting the government when they were displeased with the situation. Hippie is a more pinpointed term for those which were very progressive and preached acceptance. If you open up the term we could even include people who peacefully marched for the end of segregation, those who have marched for LGBT tolerance, and many other groups that have protested and relayed the values of tolerance and being yourself to the general public.

Many of the values which we consider “Hippie” values are congruent with many of the values of the Millennial generation. Though we are much better educated, typically employed, and usually shower a little more, there are definite similarities between the Millennial generation of the late 20th century and the Hippie movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. Let’s go over those similarities below:

  • Typically, Millennials are big supporters of conservation and changing the current situation with the US Government through peaceful protest.
    • Throughout the last few years, especially during the recent presidential election, we can see millennials as being the bulk of the people who have gone out and protested for things such as the pipeline, women’s rights, the black lives matter movement, and Anti-Trump movements.
    • Millennials are huge supporters of conservation throughout the United States and making big changes in how the U.S. gets our resources. We are huge supporters of renewable energy which has a much lower impact on the Earth than coal and fossil fuels.(Schawbel, 2013)
    • 61% of millennials are worried about the state of the world and want to help change things.(Schawbel, 2013)
  • Millennials have a much more “Anti-Establishment” view than the previous generation.
    • Frankly it seems millennials are fed up with how things work in the world, especially the U.S. Government, and want to do something about it! This definitely figures into our protesting, but we have shown time and time again that we are tired of the status quo and want things to change, and we are very vocal about that.
    • In many states over 80% of those under 30 years old voted for Bernie Sanders, a total anti-establishment candidate, though, we are about 50/50 when talking about where we align politically.
  • A HUGE congruency between millennials and the Hippie movement is our desire for a ‘different’ type of life.
    • Forget the 9-5 jobs, millennials show time and time again that they DO NOT want that for themselves and are more likely to be entrepreneurs.
    • As I said before, we are, however, the most educated of any of the generations but would rather be self-employed.
    • Millennials look for meaning in the careers and 75% would not give up their family and personal values for a career.
    • 81% of us millennials have donated money, goods, or services in some time in our lives as well. (Schawbel, 2013)
    • 84% of millennials would rather make a positive difference in the world with their career than have personal recognition in their jobs. (Schawbel, 2013)
  • Millennials are likely to be well-educated and educate themselves about current events rather than just accepting things at face value.
    • Though millennials are more likely to get their news from social media, 85% of millennials have a smart phone, and we are likely to use them for fact-checking, gaining news, etc. rather than the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers who get most of their news through the TV. (Amy Mitchell, 2015)
  • Millennials are likely to have hippie-like social values.
    • We are much more tolerant of others versus our preceding generations. (Schawbel, 2013)
    • 44% don’t believe that marriage is a relevant or needed tradition. (Schawbel, 2013)
    • Much more progressive about tolerance and acceptance.
    • 43& are non-white and 1/4th are multi-lingual which helps to aid acceptance of

Overall, we all know that history repeats itself, and the millennials are the hippies of today! There are so many congruences between the sub-cultures and while not all millennials fall into this, a majority have many values in common with the hippie movement. We can see here that millennials are much more environmentally conscious, likely to speak up about things the dislike and form protests, are more accepting of others, less serious about sex and marriage, and overall more interested in the state of the world. I, personally, am happy to be a part of this generation and hope, as the hippies created a change in their time, we will do the same for our time.

Thanks for reading!

Works Cited

Amy Mitchell, J. G. (2015, June 1). PewResearchCenter. Retrieved from journalism.org: http://www.journalism.org/2015/06/01/millennials-political-news/

General Foundation. (2012, November 12). The Millenial Generation Research Review. Retrieved from U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Foundation: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/reports/millennial-generation-research-review

Ray, B. (2011, May 11). A New Generation OF “Hippies” Seeking Meaning Beyond The Mall. Retrieved from Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/adulthood-whats-the-rush/201105/new-generation-hippies-seeking-meaning-beyond-the-mall

Schawbel, D. (2013, June 25). 74 Of The Most Interesting Facts About Millenials. Retrieved from Danschawbel.com: http://danschawbel.com/blog/74-of-the-most-interesting-facts-about-the-millennial-generation/

Thompson, D. (2016, February 29). The Liberal Millenial Revolution. Retrieved from The Atlantic: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/reports/millennial-generation-research-review

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