Tuesday, May 06, 2008


There is a nifty new pop-soc term: Young And Wealthy, but Normal. YAWNS are Gen X and older Millennial men and women who work hard, are doing very well, and want to give back now. So they live simply, are charitable and green, and are basically decent people.

The term comes from the London Sunday Telegraph -- historically the conservative paper there -- noticing the trend among Britons. There is plenty of evidence of the phenomenon throughout the world's rich, including many in this country.

The Associated Press article, by Evelyn Nieves, cites Stanford sociologist David Grusky's view that an anti-materialist movement often follows a materialist one. One can see the Reagan era "I got mines" provoking a reaction today of "I give back."

I see the YAWN phenomenon as the private sector counterpart of the interesting Millenial finding I reported a few weeks ago that the most desirable employers for the high school class of 2006 were Google, Disney, the State Department, the FBI, and the CIA. To aging Boomers, these were the Enemy of their youth. To Millenials, though, they are agencies of building up the world.

YAWNS and future earnest Staties are both hopeful signs about the young generation of adults.

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