Pi Attitude Zone: Connectivity & Drive

British Kids And The Celebrity Zoo

Everyone knows about the “American Dream”, though many Americans have recently been watching it recede beyond their grasp.  But what would the “British Dream” be, assuming that there was one?

For many Brits, it seems it would include spectacular upward mobility, perhaps triggered by becoming a pop star or a football ace, or maybe by winning the National Lottery.  And almost certainly “Being On The Telly” would probably be part of the wish-fulfillment ideal package.

But wait:  research from Britain Thinks, a consultancy, analyzed questionnaires and focus-group findings among teenagers in the big cities of London, Leeds and Coventry, and found evidence of a wildly different set of goals and aspirations when compared to their elders.  Abandoning wishful thinking, the kids dubbed “Generation A” seem to be all about cold hard realism, and limiting their ambitions.

Far from day-dreaming about life’s material rewards, and wanting them to drop unbidden into their laps, teenagers around the UK seem to be walking away from dreams of spectacular material success and conspicuous consumption, instead hoping simply for a worthwhile job that they can work hard at in order to get by in life.

Designer brands, instant fame and “making it on TV” are being dismissed as silly by these sober-sided youngsters, as are all the trappings of celebrity (which one young woman impatiently dismissed as “a zoo”). 

Politics and politicians came in for particularly scathing comments, with only one-third of young participants placing any hope in a political party’s ability to help them achieve their goals.  Nearly half were disinclined even to vote.

The big preoccupation for these kids is employment, though many find it hard to get work.  Nonetheless, and by a margin of two to one, these young Britons would rather work than accept state assistance, even if it meant taking home less money.  Four out of five said they would still choose to work even if they struck it rich and didn’t have to.  However, close to two-thirds were doubtful of finding work in their home country.  Nearly half thought that moving abroad was the likeliest way of finding jobs and achieving their minimum desired lifestyle.

Their parents can drool over the “celebrity zoo” if they like.  These young realists don’t want anything much to do with it.  “Why would I want to live in a zoo?”, said one girl of 14.

Zone: Connectivity & Drive Country: Europe Product – Other