Well, the essence of this title of this rather short post has been evoked by previous generations. My grad school teacher in contemporary social theory used to quip in his lecture that when we are young, we are prone to be rebellious and be inspired by Marx. In the family stage of life we are more likely to be inspired by Weber, more spiritual. In the middle age, we are pessimistic as Durkheim. This generation has seen a tsunami of technological advancements from Doordarshan (State Controlled Media) to Direct to Home TV to social media on smart phone. With these advancements in the post liberalization era, the guaranteed life time employment is a thing of the past as technology has changed the fundamental nature of work with some professions relegated to the thrash bin of history . We have more money in hand, but paradoxically with even more avenues to spend money. This is also the era of the pink slip. Don’t perform; someone else will do your job at a cheaper rate. Our better gender peers are competing with us shoulder to shoulder, leading to changed equations at home. This is the best part of the generational transformation. The male attitudes have not changed unfortunately. The Indian Male has not ‘grown up’ to the fact that this is a different era. My female friends are super achievers: academically brilliant, career wise top notch and family oriented. All ‘Leaned in’ to towards being the next Sheryl Sandberg’s of the world. Very inspiring. The power equations have changed for good. You would have to f**king good to marry one.
In this era of Online Learning, the degree is both under-valued and over-rated. A masters degree is the new under-grad in this recessionary scenario. I was born into the job market in the midst of the 2008 recession. We are expected to learn life long as our smart phone knows more than us. How we apply ourselves is the key. A married life at 28 to 30 years of age, considered ‘normal’ until 15 years back seems to be passé. Rentals are so expensive, buying one in a metro is beyond comprehension. Our Salaries are a ‘slurry’, entering and exiting our accounts in a blink. Savings are difficult. And employment opportunities are few and far between. Ones Social and Cultural Capital seems to hold the answer. Where one studies, the brand of the institution , our network and connections with the right information is the ladder to the correct job.
Being a young man has not been any easier as of now. One has be on ones toe to grapple with the chaos and complexity of everyday life. Life is truly intoxicating. The game is on.