This thesis takes as its project a theoretical showdown between two concepts that each require, for different reasons, extremely careful nuance: the millennial generation and neoliberalism.
The latter concept requires slightly less nuance than the former, as, although it is a popular term among those somewhat well-versed in political theory, it is abstract enough and its usual connotations are contrary enough to the accepted popular opinion that it has not pervaded mass culture. It is important to note to the reader that, upon exploring this thesis, the author’s stance on neoliberalism quickly becomes apparent, but it is only hoped that the term’s use throughout does not cross over from the critical to the pejorative, for critical is constructive while pejorative is merely bitter.
The former concept is extremely difficult to work with as it has been explored and dissected over and over and over again, poorly and imprudently, by academia and mass media alike, rendering it all but meaningless. As poignantly stated in one of the most important sources of this thesis, “Reading around, you can form a picture of millennials either as great disrupters, creating massive discontinuities in civilization, or as essentially the same as everyone else.” Nevertheless, millennial talk has experienced overkill for a reason, as it is a topic of extreme importance, even if for nothing more than the effects of its hype. It may seem at the outset of this thesis that certain assumptions concerning millennials are to be left unexplored, but the reader must read assured, for in due time and pages all aspects of the millennial generation that pertain to its relationship with the latter term will be addressed, and those found to be false will be negated in a dialectical fashion.
Finally, this thesis is, first and foremost, an academic account of the relationship between millennial politics and the high noon of neoliberalism. Yet considering that discussion of these topics naturally leads to editorial, also seeing this piece as a political stance cannot and should not be avoided. To the weathered academic, this thesis is a political, sociological, and philosophical analysis. To the millennial, it is an appeal to critical thinking and a call to arms.