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Aevin
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The Streamlined Life

par Aevin le Mar 06 Mai 2014, 08:34
Every year researchers at U.C.L.A. do a survey of incoming college freshmen. These surveys, conducted over four decades now, show how the life cycle has changed over the past couple generations.

This first thing you see from this and similar data sets is that high school has gotten a bit easier. In 1966, only about 19 percent of high school students graduated with an A or A- average. By 2013, 53 percent of students graduated with that average.

The grades are higher even though, for many, the workload is lighter. As late as 1987, nearly half of high school students reported doing at least six hours of homework a week. By 2006, less than a third of all students reported doing that much work. In 1966, 48 percent of students said they sometimes showed up late to class. By 2006, more than 60 percent of students said they sometimes showed up late.

(...)

At the same time, one gets the sense they are trying to armor up, in preparation for the rigors to come. They assert their talents. They rate themselves much more highly than past generations on leadership skills, writing abilities, social self-confidence and so on. For example, in 2009, roughly 75 percent of freshmen said they had a stronger drive to achieve than their average peers.

Human nature hasn’t changed much. The surveys still reveal generations driven by curiosity, a desire to have a good family, a good community and good values. But people clearly feel besieged. There is the perception that life is harder. Certainly their parents think it is harder. The result is that you get a group hardened for battle, more focused on the hard utilitarian things and less focused on spiritual or philosophic things; feeling emotionally vulnerable, but also filled with résumé assertiveness. The inner world wanes; professional intensity waxes.

L'article : http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/06/opinion/brooks-the-streamlined-life.html?smid=tw-share&smv1&_r=0

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