Have You Given Up?

The State of Activism in America from Utne readers

Have you given up? If you’re a typical baby boomer, the answer is a resounding “No way!” You’re still on the barricades fighting to save the environment, working for social justice, and generally raising hell to make a difference in the world.

But if you’re a typical Gen-Xer, your answer is more likely to be some variation of, “Given up what? I never believed I could make a difference in the first place.”

And if you’re a millennial, your answer is more likely, “Hey. I’m just getting started. Bring it on!”

These are among the surprising findings of a recent survey conducted by Utne Reader, in collaboration with social scientists Jay Ogilvy, Ph.D., and Brad Edmondson. Ogilvy, the former director of research for Stanford Research Institute’s Values and Lifestyles (VALS) program, and Edmondson, the former editor of American Demographics magazine, together with Utne Reader founder Eric Utne, designed the survey and analyzed the results.