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The concept “Millennials” – the continuation of Gen X – originated from North America and a lot of research and writings have been dedicated to defining it since then. This term was coined by Neil Howe and William Strauss in which the two had written many books about changing generations in relation to economic and social change. The key factor that differentiates each generation is technology.
Most of us Millennials were either innocent, playful adolescents or hormone-raging teens when the term “Millennials” surfaced. Some were even making their transition towards adulthood. As Millennials, the mindset to make an impact and contribute as much as we can to the society had been instilled by our baby boomers’ parents and the advancing society. On the other hand, Millennials are often thought to be impatient, spoilt and ungrateful. Basically, the Millennials are probably the most researched and criticized generation ever.
In light of these perceptions, here are 5 books that might benefit the “lost and confused” Millennials as well as people who would like to understand why this generation is so different than the preceding ones.
1. Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation by Neil Howe & William Strauss
It’s only fitting to start off with a book which had been written by the two who “introduced” Millennials to the world.
It is essentially a textbook summary of what it means to be a Millennial in North America – babies born between 1982 and 2000. Based on the authors’ detailed statistical evidence – from the polls and surveys to communicating with parents and educator – the Millennials are not thought to be what the preceding generations perceived them to be: entitled, cynical and narcissistic. It is an informative book that covers different aspects that impact the way Millennials act and grow. From discussing the baby boomers’ parenting skills to socioeconomic factors, Howe and Strauss conclude with a fact that Millennials can be powerful – a Hero Generation – but must overcome difficulties first. Otherwise, the Millennials can “easily” fall on to the worse side of the spectrum: spoilt and misuse that power to oppress others.
Considering that it was written before 2000, Howe and Strauss had predicted a pretty accurate outcome. Despite the book being more than a decade old, it is still a relevant text for those who would want to understand why Millennials are so different from Gen X. It gives us hope.
2. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell’s debut book published in 2000 discusses what makes a trend special and “spread like wildfire. It’s a good book for entrepreneurs to understand what makes a product or an idea to achieve an exponential success while others fade into obscurity. The Tipping Point has become a catchphrase, that holds “three rules of change”. With that said, he introduced many concepts using relatable examples based on his in-depth research from various sources.
He emphasized that even a minor change in a certain circumstance can increase its tendency to the tipping point. In short, little things matter and they can result a big change. If you have been looking for a tipping point in your life or your business, this book might just have the answer.
3. Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood by Christian Smith, Kari Christoffersen & Hilary Davidson
Have you ever asked yourselves these questions?
Why am I taking a long time to achieve something? What am I going to do with my life? Where am I headed to?
This is the book that caters to these thoughts.
It was published in 2011. The book is based on their research from comprehensive interviews with 230 18-23-year-old young people to investigate what they had been struggling with being an American millennial – the underlying issues that “emerging adults” have had to face. The perspectives are wide; it focused on both conservative and liberal views. They identified 5 major problems that most young people go through today that revolve around mainstream social culture confusion in morality and lost in authenticity. With that said, they suggested that there needs to be a “realistic concern” to alleviate this problem by re-evaluating our priorities.
It is essentially a sociological analysis of the youth in America.
4. Girl Power in the Age of the Millennials: Essays on Women, Youth and Global Social Change by Christine Horansky
A book that was published in 2014, by a Huffington Post blogger in 2014 discusses how young women have not only changed the world but transformed the general acuity of being a leader in the 21st century. The book emphasizes the global development in education, economic and social in relation to their impact on young girls and women worldwide. It’s an inspiring and beautiful piece of writing that should be read by Millennials and non-Millennials alike. It’s one of those books that gives hope and reminds us that there are good things happening around the world.
It’s also a great book that can revive the spirit of International Women’s Day earlier this month.
5. Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World by Shelina Janmohamed
This was recently published in November 2016, written by a British Muslim author Love in the Headscarf. With the rising number of Muslims in the West and an overall of 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, it is imperative to discuss what it means to be a young Muslim in a world where its values and beliefs change with time. How does one balance between faith and modernism?
The author explores the crucial make-up of the modern society: the fashion industry and social media. How do we adapt these elements into Islam rather than adapting religion into the evolving society? This is a book that Muslim Millennials should have on their book shelves. Generation M celebrates the milestones of young Muslims today who succeed despite being spiritually challenged and how far we have come to achieve in the society. If people say this is bad time to be Muslim; we say it is a prime time to lead by example.
Syaza is a freelance writer whose life revolves around coffee, cats and heartwarming stories.