OK, we’ve had a few laughs at the expense of the more insane extensions of political correctness of campus — for example, the Oberlin crusade against “racist” General Tso’s chicken — but now for some good news. At least one survey shows a majority of students actually rejecting these kinds of extremes.
The poll, conducted last September, showed that a majority of students are more conservative — or at least, more tuned into the real world — than the “social justice warriors” (SJWs) who are getting all the headlines.
This opens up some intriguing possibilities, not just for political/social commentators but for marketers. Here’s an idea to consider:
- The Millennials get a bad rap because they are so identified with out-to-lunch SJWs. It’s easy to poke fun at Pajama Boy, the Yalies who couldn’t handle Hallowe’en costumes, Oberlin, etc. But in fact, some hard-nosed segmentation may be in order.
- The Millennial generation is so big, in fact, that it would be remarkable if it were uniform and if it did not contain numerous sub-sets. One conventional demarcation would typically be based on education — university degree vs. no degree. But I believe this group could be further segmented.
- I think the job market is going to begin (if it isn’t already) weeding out grads based on soft sciences vs. hard sciences, courses dominated by PC and SJW sensibilities vs. courses more plugged into the real world. If you leave the campus immersed in the concepts of microaggression, “safe” spaces, victimhood on all sides, your employability — and your value in the marketplace — will be downgraded. If you come out more demonstrably independent and self-sufficient, it will be the opposite. A new psychographic category, within the larger Millennial population, should be “snowflake” (as opposed to “adult”).
I’m serious. What is the value to a marketer of a 25-year-old who still can’t handle insensitive Hallowe’en costumes?