Generation Snowflake From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search The neutrality of this article is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. (November 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Generation Snowflake, or Snowflake Generation, is a term used to characterise young adults of the 2010s as being more prone to taking offence and less resilient than previous generations, or too emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own. It is considered derogatory. Some sources attribute the characteristics ascribed to Generation Snowflake to methods of parenting and education, particularly those that focus unduly on boosting self-esteem. Contents [1 Background 2 Usage 2.1 Generational differences 2.2 Broader usage 2.3 In popular culture 3 See also 4 References 5 Further reading Background It has been suggested that "Generation Snowflake" is derived from the term "snowflake", which has been used to make reference to parents reportedly raising their children as "special" and "precious" snowflakes. This usage of "snowflake" may originate from Chuck Palahniuk's 1996 novel Fight Club, which became a hit film in 1999. Both the novel and the film include the line "You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake." The term "Generation Snowflake", or its variant "Snowflake Generation" is thought to have originated in the United States. It came into wider use in the United Kingdom in 2016, particularly after Claire Fox, founder of the think tank the Institute of Ideas, published a book called I Find That Offensive! In it she wrote about a confrontation between Yale University students and faculty Head of College, Nicholas Christakis. The confrontation arose after Christakis' wife, Erika Christakis, a lecturer at the university, had suggested students should "relax a bit rather than labeling fancy dress Halloween costumes as culturally insensitive", according to Fox. Fox described the video showing the students' reaction as a "screaming, almost hysterical mob of students". Fox said the backlash to the viral video led to the disparaging moniker "generation snowflake" for the students. The term "snowflake generation" was one of Collins Dictionary's 2016 words of the year. Collins defines the term as "the young adults of the 2010s, viewed as being less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations". Similarly, in 2016 the Financial Times included "snowflake" in their annual Year in a Word list, defining it as "A derogatory term for someone deemed too emotionally vulnerable to cope with views that challenge their own, particularly in universities and other forums once known for robust debate" and noting that the insult had been aimed at an entire generation. Usage "Generation Snowflake" and "snowflake" have been used in relation to purported generational differences; "snowflake" and similar terms have also been used more broadly. Generational differences According to Fox, members of Generation Snowflake "are genuinely distressed by ideas that run contrary to their worldview"; they are more likely than previous generations of students to report that they have mental health problems. Fox and journalist Bryony Gordon described these traits as being coupled with a strong sense of entitlement. According to an article titled "The 'Snowflake' Generation: Real or Imagined?" from the John William Pope Center reasons proposed by researchers for the reported increase in mental health problems among university students differ. They vary from increased pressure on students, reduced self-reliance resulting from overuse of mental health services, to university authorities' expectations of student fragility. Fox argues that Generation Snowflake was created by over-protecting people when they were children and she argued the emphasis on self-esteem in childhood resulted in adults "tiptoeing around children's sensitivities" to avoid "damaging their wellbeing". In the UK, Tom Bennett was recruited by the government to address behaviour in schools. He commented that Generation Snowflake children at school can be over-protected, leading to problems when they progress to university and are confronted with "the harsher realities of life". Bennett argues being sheltered from conflict as children can lead to university students who react with intolerance towards people and things that they believe may offend someone or toward people who have differing political opinions, leading to a phenomenon called "no-platforming", where speakers on controversial topics such as abortion or atheism are prohibited from speaking on a university campus. In 2016 some law professors at the University of Oxford began using trigger warnings, to alert students to potentially distressing subject matter. This drew criticism from Fox and GQ writer, Eleanor Halls, who related the phenomenon to Generation Snowflake, and questioned how well law students educated with trigger warnings would function as lawyers. Law lecturer Laura Hoyano also criticized the use of trigger warnings. A spokesperson for the university said that Oxford had not adopted a formal policy on trigger warnings, leaving their use to the discretion of individual lecturers. Law student Giorgia Litwin defended the use of trigger warnings, saying "The introduction of a discretionary trigger warning is not going to cause every law student to drop sticks and walk out of a lecture." Northern Irish journalist Fionola Meredith noted a 2016 UK Higher Education Policy Institute survey of university students which found that 76% of students supported the NUS no platform policy and 48% of students think universities should be safe spaces where debate takes place within specific guidelines. However the same survey found broad support for free speech among students in general. The negative connotations of the term Generation Snowflake have been criticized for having been applied too widely: Bennett also commented: "It's true that, for some of these children, losing fast wi-fi is a crisis and being offended on the internet is a disaster.... But then I remember the other ones, and I reckon they all balance each other out." Richard Brooks wrote in The Daily Telegraph that "students have always been instrumental in turning the tide of public opinion", and Mark Kingwell, philosophy professor at University of Toronto has objected to the use of the term to characterize political protesting as "whining", in response to protests by Millennials following Donald Trump's election as president of the United States. Serena Smith, writing for The Tab says the term "Generation Snowflake" shows "Millennials can never win" because they are either stereotyped as politically disengaged, or they are called "snowflakes" when they do engage politically. Smith also states: "most, if not all, of these comments on 'special snowflakes' originate from the baby boomer generation—i.e. the generation that kicked up the biggest fuss of the 20th century: the 1960s. A generation that led a sexual and cultural revolution, now telling us that we’re whining for trying to make our voices heard? It seems slightly hypocritical." Broader usage In her syndicated column, Michelle Malkin criticized the provision of the Affordable Care Act which requires employer-based health coverage to extend to adult children up to 26 years of age, describing it as the "slacker mandate" and calling these young adults "precious snowflakes". Malkin argues the provision has "cultural consequences" in that it "reduces the incentives for 20-somethings to grow up and seek independent lives and livelihoods". Jessica Roy, writing for the Los Angeles Times, says the alt-right in the United States describes those protesting Donald Trump as "snowflakes", using the term as a pejorative. In popular culture In December 2016, the ABC sitcom Last Man Standing aired an episode entitled "Precious Snowflakes", which focused on the topics of microaggressions and politically correct speech restrictions on a university campus. In the 2014 film The Lego Movie, the character Lord Business says, "No one ever told me I was special. I never got a trophy just for showing up! I'm not some special little snowflake". http://fightfor15.org/for-workers/ How to Go on a One-Day Strike 15 steps for $15 an hour and the right to form a union Before you strike for $15: Talk to coworkers you trust and ask them to join you. Set the time to meet outside the store on the day of the strike. Call everyone you know to support you: friends, family, local social justice organizations, pastors, priests, and politicians and ask them to come to your strike line. Ask at least one of your supporters to walk back into to work with you at your next regularly scheduled shift after the strike. Day of the strike for $15: Make signs that say why you are on strike. Print out and deliver the “Strike” letter to your manager (everyone who is on strike should sign it). Start your strike! Stand outside your store with your supporters and let people know you all are standing up for $15 an hour and the right to organize a union because low pay is not ok! Call the local TV station and newspaper and let them know you are on strike at your store. Call or text family and friends who aren’t there yet to come and support you. Chant, march, sing and let everyone who is on strike explain why they are there. Ask supporters to come with you when you and your coworkers return to work. Post pictures of your strike on Facebook at Facebook.com/Fightfor15 and tweet them to @fightfor15. After the strike for $15: Meet up with your supporter who is walking with you to work. Go back to work at your next regularly scheduled shift with your head held high. Tell your coworkers how it felt to stand up for $15 an hour and the right to form union with thousands of other workers across the country! Sign them up at Fightfor15.org.