Millennial Values

What the Young Want Around the World

A girl takes pictures after opening ceremony at Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai, China, June 16, 2016. Aly Song / Reuters

In the recent referendum in the United Kingdom, older generations voted “Leave” whereas younger voters strongly favored remaining in the European Union. Baby boomers, it seems, are more nationalist and nostalgic for independence. Younger people consider themselves citizens of the global village. At least this is how we generally view millennials the world over: they are postmaterialist, favor collaboration over competition, and are democratic, cosmopolitan, and progressive.

For example, whereas Russian President Vladimir Putin and his ruling clique might still extol nineteenth-century values, young Russians (exemplified by the band Pussy Riot) hope for a different future. They went out in large numbers to protest Putin in 2012. They want democracy and are opposed to the conservative patriarchal policies of their government. Observers’ initial optimism about the Arab Spring also centered on young, tech-savvy Arabs who used social media to further their protest. And in Turkey, the young Gezi Park protesters acted

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