Name: Julie Brodrick
Student Number: N8297053
Tutor: Abbey-Rose Hamilton
Terrorism, Global Recession,
Technology and Climate Change.
How do these Social and Cultural Forces affect Gen Y?

Artefact-Bliss n Eso, The Sea is Rising,
The artefact I have chosen to represent my topic is a song and the music video, ‘The Sea is Rising’ by Australian hip hop band Bliss n Eso. The lyrics relate to the public health issues I have focussed on like climate change and war. Bliss n Eso not only send the message, why are we fighting when there are issues like climate change to be concerned with, but the lyrics also question the structure of society and motives of the authorities. This song was bought to my attention by my 12 year old son, who was impressed by the lyrics because as Izac said, “It’s all about the environment”. It took me by surprise that he had taken the time to listen to the message. This is representative of generation Y as they are more aware of global isssues at a much younger age than previous generations.

Literature Review
Generation Y represents individuals born between the 1982-2000 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2011). I will discuss some of the major historical events, economic trends and social issues that have had an impact on Generation Y’s world views and the way they behave in it. This will include the effects of the war on terrorism, the global recession, technology together with mass media and climate change. These social and cultural forces have a significant impact on the public health issues facing this generation. For example, the use of technology has had some very positive effects like providing a global perspective to generation Y. On the other hand we have seen a dramatic rise in childhood obesity over the last ten years; this has been partly attributed to the lack of physical exercise associated with the time spent using technology (Strasburger, Jordan, & Donnerstein, 2010). I aim to draw a correlation between events that have occurred during the most formative years of generation Y’s life to the generational profile and hypothesize what will be the most significant public health issues facing Generation Y in the future.
Generation Y are spending their most influential years in times that have witnessed some of the most horrific terrorist attacks around the world. The most televised and devastating being the Sept 11 world trade terrorist attack in 2001. Generation Y’s age at that time was between 1 and 19 years. This event shocked society and changed the way we view the world and participate within it. We watched graphic images of the bombing brought straight into our living rooms via mass media. The implications of this event have been catastrophic. We realised that we can no longer sit comfortably in our 1st world society and believe that we are removed from global crisis. Generation Y have lived in fear resulting in the need to feel connected to others (Schlitzkus, Schenarts, & Schenarts, 2010). Perhaps this explains the need for constantly communication through the use of technology and the preference that generation Y have to work in a structured, team focussed environment (Schlitzkus et al., 2010). Following September 11 a survey of 90 American university students revealed that 77% had a fear of flying following the event, 54% believed that the fear they experienced effected the way they went about their daily activities and 95.5% felt that they had developed a closer connection and appreciation for their loved ones (Sherrod, Quinones, & Davila, 2004). The limitation of the study being that it only represents a section of the community because the group participating were predominantly highly educated, middleclass females. The effects of the fear following this event have resulted in a generation who are much more connected to their parents and more likely to delay the markers of adulthood. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011), generation Y are staying in the family home for longer, delaying marriage and the childbearing age is getting later. There may be other contributing factors like economic issues and the fact that many of generation Y’s parents have had failed marriages (ABS, 2011).


The war on terrorism has contributed to the global recession. In America alone the budget for national security in 2011 according to congress will be around 1 trillion dollars. Australia has also felt the effects of a global recession. Generation Y ‘s are a highly educated group competing for jobs with the more experienced generation X and baby boomers. According to ABS (2011) baby boomers are delaying plans to retire. 36% say they will retire when they are financially in a position to rather than coming into retirement age. Work attitudes of generation Y are very different to those of X. Generation Y are very team focussed, some say because of the rise in children‘s team sports growing up. They are positive and driven but expect a lot out of the work place, they thrive in a structured, supportive environment (Schlitzkus et al., 2010). They will change their careers numerous times during their working life. Generation X on the other hand are happier in a flexible casual workplace (Schlitzkus, et al., 2010). They have had to learn how to use technology whereas generation Y were born with it and use it as a second nature, multitasking at the same time (Healing & Jones, 2010). It is a real issue for employers who are of the generation X and baby boomers generation as they try to entice them to stay in a job.
Generation Y, also known as digital natives have evolved with technology and use it instinctively (Healing & Jones, 2010). Exposure to technology and the impact this has on a generation’s attitudes, behaviour and health is a complex one as a number of studies reveal. Richards (2010) study revealed that internet usage has some very positive effects on altruism which was indicated by the increase in volunteerism amongst the group. Both studies suggest that the internet use was beneficial when used responsibly and in moderation (Richards, 2010; Strasburger et al., 2010). The media has a role in education, providing a connection socially and for entertainment. Television on the other hand was shown to have a negative effect on adolescence by desensitising acts of violence, effecting self-esteem and body image by portraying an unrealistic body ideal (Strasburger et al., 2010). Both studies had an emphasis on parental involvement. The American Association of Pediatric’s note to parents included the recommendation to limit time, keep television out of the bedroom, be mindful of own media practises and take time to interpret and elaborate on the information (Strasburger et al., 2010). Limitations of the studies were that Strasburger focuses on ages 8-18 years which does not represent all of generation Y. Both Richards and Strasburger conducted their studies in America therefore the outcome may have been different in Australia. Richards indicates that some of the findings in her research may be correlative rather than causative.
Technology through mass media has also brought the reality of global issues to Generation Y in a particularly personal way via Facebook, My space and Twitter. Individuals interact directly with others in another country. I hypothesise that this may impact the way they view global issues because they feel personally connected to something happening on the other side of the world. Generation Y’s in England, America, Australia and Japan can be experiencing the same events and are influenced by the same marketing (Howe & Nadler, 2008). This could change the way they behave globally and locally. Generation Y are very positive in spite of war and economic downturn. They have been described as a group who think they can change the world (Schlitzkus et al.,2010). Perhaps they can, as generation Y matures and has the power to change policy with a much more globally balanced perspective than older generations.
Some of the public health issues surrounding the increased use of technology are the increase in sedentary lifestyle associated with screen time (Strasburger et al., 2010). The realisation that obesity often precedes diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, liver and gallbladder disease and certain types of cancer have brought about national concerns for the future health of generation Y and also the financial drain on our public health care system (Alpert, 2009). Generation Y have been born into a world that makes it easier to put on weight with fast food around every corner, internet shopping and working from home or spending hours sitting and studying all contribute to the problem. The national BMI for 20 -24 year olds has risen from 23.6 for males and 22.1 for females in 1990 to 25 for males and 23.1 for females. A BMI over 25 is considered over weight (ABS, 2009.).
There has been a lot of media hype about cyber bullying and although this affects a small minority of youth it can be extremely distressing and can be associated with psychosocial and other risky behaviour (Strasburger et al.,2010). Baudrillard would suggest that we are so mediated that we no longer distinguish between what is real and what is fiction (Van Krieken et al., 2006). When Generation Y converse through technology perhaps it doesn’t seem as real therefore it is easier to bully by text rather than in a face to face situation, although the effect is long lasting for the receiver. In one way technology can become more real because it brings global issues to the individual but on the other hand because of the mediation we can also be desensitised to the repercussions of our actions (Strasburger et al., 2010).
Political views of Gen Y vary considerably although there seems to be a growing concern for issues such as human rights, democracy and environmental sustainability with a strong sense of international solidarity. Post modernists would say that there is a complex relationship between global and local issues with an understanding that everyday actions are linked to the global environment (Van Krieken et al., 2006). This is apparent when we reflect on how youth today have strong concerns for climate change and other global issues. An example of this dedication to climate change could be seen as Australia held a national rally in 2009, focusing on the message to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million. More than 150 national eventstook place and 2000 activists at The Sydney Opera House used blue umbrellas to form the words 350 on the Opera House steps. According to Wojtonis (2009) 97.5 % of young people voted for emissions targets stronger than those currently proposed by the Australian government. Ian Dunlop (2010) a ex oil and gas company executive and expert in coal emissions suggests that one of the solutions can be found in technology. As we cannot rely entirely on technology we need to change our values, cut down on consumption and focus on long term sustainability. Although science has provided proof that there is a rapid deterioration occurring there is still a reluctance to accept the real implications of climate change.” Ice from the summer Arctic Sea disappears, glaciers retreat and temperatures rise but there is also a well funded campaign to discredit science”(Dunlop, 2010). Dunlop suggests that transformative action needs to takes place so that we provide a future for the following generations. But the closer we get to taking action the more the powers at present will try to discredit science as a transition would result in a shift in power(Dunlop, 2010). According to Dunlop climate change is one of the most important challenges facing generation Y in the future.


Cultural and Social analysis
‘Globalisation’ is the process by which today’s society has been shaped. Generation Y have been influenced by global forces such as the effects of technology and mass media creating a common cultural identity amongst this generation (Van Krieken, 2006). As discussed previously mass media has brought global issues such as terrorism and climate change to our attention. The realisation that our world is vulnerable has resulted in a sense of insecurity and the need to be closely connected to family, friends and belong to a community (Howe & Nadler, 2008). The structure of society has responded to global security issues by regulating our lives in the attempt to create a feeling of security. In the process creating a generation that prefer a structured, team oriented work environment because they have grown up in a very scheduled, structured and regulated environment (Howe & Nadler, 2008). Generation X and baby boomer parents have reacted to media hype that has created a fear for the safety of their children about issues such as child molestation. This fear has contributed to a shift in the way society is structured, rationality takes control of individuals as rules and regulations are followed through fear. Ironically we lose our autonomy and freedom in the process of trying to protect ourselves (Van Krieken, 2006).This brings us to the notion of McDonaldization which as the restaurant chain depicts, relies on predictability, calculability, efficiency and control of individuals to be successful with the ultimate goal being profit driven (Van Krieken, 2006). Generation Y seem to prefer this predictability and control that Mcdonaldization has to offer but this is at a cost because in a rational society emotions are not considered and creativity is stifled.
Generation Y have been described as civic minded, positive and confident. Howe and Strauss responsible for developing the notion that generational personalities follow each other in a cyclic fashion and correspond with historical changes, also put generation Y into a category they call the ‘civics’. According to the theory generation Y or the ‘civics’ will play a part in restoring civic order and decreasing individualism following a crisis period in the world (Werzstein, 2001). Although the cycles of generational characteristics are simplified within this theory, I thought that it was interesting that the description of the ‘civics’ revealed a common theme throughout many research articles on the subject of generation Y. The fact that the world is going through a crisis period as we can see by the amount of unrest and natural disasters that have occurred over the last decade may indicate that there is some substance to this theory. It has been said that generationY believe they have the ability to change the world (Strasburger, 2010). I also believe that this well educated group with their sense of conscience to the global environment will make a difference. This will be achieved by addressing the public health issues such as climate change and associated problems, global disease, natural disasters and pollution. Technology will be developed further and hopefully used to help solve issues like our diminishing energy resources. Generation Y’s desire to live in a regulated environment has its advantages because it leads to efficiency. This highly motivated group will hopefully set goals that are driven by values but also consider the economy. The close relationship that generation Y have with their parents may be the answer as the balance of qualities between the two will work together to fight climate change, the recession and confrontation around the world.

Artefact and Reflection
The ‘Bliss n Eso’ song, ‘The Sea is Rising’ is significant to me personally initially because my 12 year old son introduced it to me in a way that displayed a level of maturity and a natural understanding of the message behind the song. If I had not been working on this assignment I probably would not have taken as much notice of the way Izac saw the message. His awareness of global problems demonstrates to me that generation Y does have a global conscience.
The lyrics of the song show the frustration experienced by youth as they are aware of climate change and wars and are taught to understand the consequences of these problems but they cannot understand why nothing is being done about it. The lyrics show a mistrust of authorities, the ‘dominion’ and politicians.Youth views are not heard, they do not feel empowered only stuck in a world that makes ‘stupid decisions’. According to all they have been taught the ruling powers are not making sense. There is reference to the youth that are put at risk by these decisions, perhaps referring to wars in other countries that do not seem to have relevance. With conflicting messages about why we are at war and distrust in the government they cannot see the point. There is mention of religion which is put in a negative light associated with war.
The song encourages youth to question the decisions made by authorities and speaks about agency by referring to the need to not let anything stand “between you and the pursuit of your vision”.
Generation Y are confident and positive in spite of all the conflict. Their self esteem remains intact, as mentioned in the lyrics which suggest they are beyond the “ego tripping” and ready to grow together and pursue their vision of a better world. There are some negative aspects of the lyrics but it is not complete anarchy against the regime. That is the difference between the lyrics in songs from earlier revolutionary generations with rock and punk music displaying a more radical view.
I have found the time spent researching this assignment to be important to my understanding of a younger generation and also by reflecting upon my own views I can start to understand how they were developed. I have an appreciation for the need to understand each other and believe that I will be less judgemental as a result of what I have learnt. Understanding some of the characteristics that are typical in a generation can be useful when resolving conflict at work or home. Although it is important to understand that there are individuals that do not display typical characteristics.
Research can have limiting factors and many resources will provide dubious facts. Therefore it is important to read broadly and critique the information we receive. It is equally as important that as a parent we can teach our children how to evaluate the information they come across especially through media.

Lyrics to The Sea Is Rising :
And all I know is the sun is shining, yet we fight on through the night
while the burgs are melting and the sea is rising I don’t know so I ask them why (questions structure)
Yeah, why are they refusing to listen
why are these troops on a mission
and why are they shooting these victims over their view on religion
yeah why do we all search for love like we got cupids addiction
why with politicians you can’t tell the truth from the fiction
why do we pollute where were living
why are these youth put at risk
and why is this fool on dominion kept us consumed in this prison
I won’t jump through the hoops of this system
nothing stands between you and the pursuit of your vision (agency)
I grab a loop of this rhythm it’s puts the juice in my pistons
so jump back, react spit in the boots with precision
when I’m cruising with ism’ yeah I’m doosing the splif
It’s a BNE show bitch getting loose was a given
I don’t want them to look back when the future was written
and know we killed ourselves with nuclear vision and stupid decisions (distrust in authorities)
Shit I’d rather an asteroid due for collision then know the planet got fucked by the human condition (Climate Change)
sing the tune with conviction!
All I know is the sun is shining yet we fight on thought the night
while the burgs are melting and the sea is rising I don’t know so I ask them why
And all I know is the sun is shining yet we fight on through the night
well if you don’t know shit I don’t know I guess all we can do is ask them why
yeah I’m an old school poet I cherish the ink
that cosmic cowboy that doesn’t care what they think
real magic isn’t card tricks big cribs and cars bitch
it’s making something out of nothing through this hardship
and even though we know that the earth is weak
we still bomb each other and idol what the churches speak (negative association with religion)
it’s like this land is either un by labour or liberal
but don’t get entwisted their the same as the criminals
open your eyes simply notice the issue
that we stuck to our guns without promoting the pistol
we only orchestrated the sound that we all love
split because of colour but bound because of blood
so before we all blow and they sell the scene
know that the only thing that’s bullet proof is my self esteem (GenY self confidence)
see this is way beyond cash, and ego tripping it’s an epic electric eso ecosystem!
Grow with me
All I know is the sun is shining yet we fight on thought the night
while the burgs are melting and the sea is rising I don’t know so I ask them why
And all I know is the sun is shining yet we fight on through the night
well if you don’t know shit I don’t know I guess all we can do is ask them why
I don’t have to tell you things are bad
everybody knows things are bad
pollutions recognise the icecaps are melting quick
Kids trust no one and why else would they
the air is unfit to breathe, our food is unfit to eat
It’s an inferno land, pollutions recognise the icecaps are melting quick
Fuck all that shit; we are here together in this country as one
as fucking one!
It’s all about peace, love and unity (‘We’ generation, not ‘Me’ generation)
sing it, peace, love and unity
All I know is the sun is shining yet we fight on thought the night
while the burgs are melting and the sea is rising I don’t know so I ask them why
And all I know is the sun is shining yet we fight on through the night
well if you don’t know shit I don’t know I guess all we can do is ask them why

My Discussion (Reflection Task)

Page: Cultural Sensitivity, Can Health Services Feel?
I found this article interesting and you have brought some real issues to light. Our society has changed so much in the last decade. It seems that the health care system needs to catch up and realise that we are a multicultural society and as you have pointed out we do need to improve our understanding of different cultures. Hopefully with more culturally diverse healthcare workers being employed and culturally competent staff emerging from universities this problem will be alleviated. Let us not forget that our own indigenous people are having difficulties with the healthcare system too. I recently read about a study in a Darwin hospital that revealed that many of the indigenous patients had totally got the wrong message from the doctor. One patient who had a chronic renal condition believed that he had been cured and did not require further treatment (Cass et al.,2002).

Page: Every time you sleep with someone you’re sleeping with his past.
Congratulations, you have identified an extremely important issue. I hope that you get allot of people viewing your wiki. The artefact has shock value and captures the message well. I am a mature age student who was around when the Grim Reaper ads were about. The Grim Reaper campaign worked well and brought the aids numbers down in the 80’s and 90’s. It is a real shame that society has become complacent about safe sex and consequently numbers are on the rise. I saw a program on 60 minutes this week that focussed on this issue. A girl in her 20’s who had contracted HIV was interviewed and she said that she contracted it from her boyfriend at the time, not a one night stand after a bouzey night. It makes me wonder, when is it ok to have sex without a condom?

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Wetzstein, C. (2001). Turning points. Insight on the News, Academic Research Library, 17(42), 28. Retrieved from