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How do we think about the snowflake generation? Show more Show less
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Snowflake is a derogatory slang term that developed in the 2010s, implying one may have an inflated sense of uniqueness, an unwarranted sense of entitlement, or are overly-emotional, easily offended, and unable to deal with opposing opinions. Common usages include the terms special snowflake, Generation Snowflake, and snowflake as a politicized insult. Yet, as the term has existed in the vernacular, the ideas surrounding it have evolved and opened the door to an array of opinions.

The Snowflake Generation is not real. Show more Show less

There are formal names for all of the generations, at least in living memories. What is the point in asking for a renamed one?
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The snowflake generation isn’t an actual generation

The technical generations that contain snowflakes are millennials, born from 1986 to 1996 and Generation Z, born from 1997 to 2012. It would be foolish to condemn all individuals born in an almost forty-year period as snowflakes.

The Argument

The term “Snowflake Generation” encapsulates a convenient insult targeted at a particular group in any given moment, not a technical generation. The technical generations that contain snowflakes are millennials, born from 1986 to 1996 and Generation Z, born from 1997 to 2012.[1] It would be foolish to condemn all individuals born in an almost forty-year period as snowflakes. That contains the connotation that all of these people born in this span are overly sensitive liberals, when that simply isn’t the case.[2] Furthermore, the insult contains the connotation that all of their political affiliations are the same as well. While the newer generations are inarguably more liberal and progressive than older ones, according to data, it isn’t a blanketed existence. 37% of the millennial electorate worked to elect Donald Trump in 2016.[3] This is in direct opposition with the idea that millennials and Generation Z are one body and one voice. An apt comparison would be fears regarding women’s suffrage in the United States back in 1919 and 1920. There were concerns that women would vote as one political body, overwhelming the men of the country.[4] However, that is incredibly insensible, as is the interpretation that the snowflakes are one political body as well. Millennials and Generation Z are a diverse group that possess an array of views and lived experiences. To cast away their true names in favor of the derogatory snowflake is nothing but a doltish error.

Counter arguments

There is a power in names and in memory. Though the Snowflake Generation may not be the technical name for today's younger generations, it captures an ideology and image that will last far beyond them. Napoleon wasn't incredibly short, and Lincoln did not necessarily fight the Civil War on the premise of abolishing slavery, but these narratives are remembered and thus have power.[5] Trivializing the common vernacular should not be underestimated.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2018/03/01/the-generation-gap-in-american-politics/
  2. https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/09/it-takes-a-nation-of-snowflakes/541050/
  3. https://www.brookings.edu/blog/fixgov/2016/11/21/how-millennials-voted/
  4. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51344432-suffrage
  5. https://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/10-false-history-facts5.htm
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 11 Nov 2020 at 20:29 UTC