Belarusian Millennials: A Generation Gap?
Keywords: Belarusian students, generation gap, Millennials, value shift, digital revolution, ambivalence
AbstractThe authors focus on the generation of young Belarusian Millennials represented in this research by the students born in 1995–2000. Their main features include political indifference, everyday use of IT technologies, individualism and rational life attitudes. Taking into account both objective and subjective characteristics of this generation, the authors argue that it demonstrates a significant shift in societal development of Belarus. Under the social and cultural conditions of stability and political conservatism, the ‘silent revolution’ took place: Millennials transcoded the traditional values of the previous Soviet generations. The conceptualization of this phenomenon cannot be made only on the basis of quantitative data not capturing the new tendencies in youth development. The authors combine qualitative and quantitative methods that enhance a possibility to measure new meanings the youth puts into the basic values. This approach made it possible to discover the new youth features that may affect Belarusian development in the near future: its ambivalent self-identification, dominance of pragmatism and individualism. This phenomenon can be considered as a spontaneous reflection to the challenges that Belarus was facing during the post-Soviet transformation.