Monday, June 21, 2010

More on family values

One of the seemingly dependable truths of modern life is that young people will be more culturally and politically liberal than their parents. The chart below, showing results of a Pew poll from earlier this year, shows some results that may surprise you. What the numbers represent is people's response to certain terms. The researchers read the terms and then asked people if they responded positively or negatively.

In many ways, the results here seem typical. You see more liberal attitudes in the young and then these youthful enthusiasms fade a bit. The two outliers are "progressive" and "capitalism". But I thing the high ratings associated with progressive probably reflect the fact that the term means nothing for most people; it has no meaningful content for most people. Capitalism's low rating is probably a reflection of this survey being conducted during an economic crisis.

But the number that ought to stun us is family values. The younger you go, the higher the approval rating. That is what the episode of Mad Men I discussed earlier today is reflecting back on its audience.

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if there's a difference between the younger peoples' definition of family values and the older peoples? If the older people are equating family values with what's depicted on Mad Men, then its no wonder they're less approving. Conversely, if the younger people define family values based on their own experience growing up in families of the last 20 or 30 years, then that would indicate that the changes in families since the Mad Men era have been largely positive.