Satisfied With Life And Committed To Serving The Public Interest

the Irish tend to be more broadly satisfied with their lives than are many others in Western Europe

At first remove, it is noteworthy that Millennials worldwide have quite similar views despite diversity of social, cultural and economic background. Their shared formative generation seems to have engendered more commonality than we might have expected in light of national differences.


They are heavy users of social networks and indeed visit social networking sites regularly, but also maintain a circle of friends and share broad dissatisfaction with the state of national economies.


There are some characteristic differences between Irish and other Millennials, which are interesting, but not surprising. Firstly, the Irish tend to be more broadly satisfied with their lives than are many others in Western Europe. This is what we tend to see in other national attitudinal comparisons and not that surprising. Indeed, they are also reasonably satisfied with the balance they achieve between working in paid employment and time spent on other activities. However, in respect of the economy, they are negative, falling notably below the global average, albeit ahead of the very poor scores achieved in Greece, Japan, Mexico, Spain and France.


Irish Millennials get a reasonable degree of accomplishment from what they do in their lives and equally feel free to determine for themselves how they live their lives. Thus, they are a broadly optimistic and unfettered group.


Probably in light of long-established patterns of emigration, the Irish are notably prepared to emigrate or move to another region in the event of local economic instability. Nationally, they are prepared to get up and go, and are less negative about emigration, which has been a necessity for so many prior generations.


Irish Millennials seem less materially motivated than many others, and they have a greater bias towards working in the public interest rather than making lots of money in business. However, they seem to be pragmatic, in that they recognize they are in control of their own destinies, rather than being steered “by an invisible hand.”


There is a much less patriarchal view in Ireland than is apparent in any other countries, and the Irish Millennials have the second lowest levels of agreement that the father of the family should be the master in their own home. Only the Spanish are more dismissive of this notion and indeed this probably characterizes the attitudinal backdrop that shaped the recent strong vote for marriage equality in Ireland. (The Irish marriage equality referendum, passed last month with a large young turnout, made Ireland the first nation to vote to approve gay marriage.)


Perhaps relatedly, young Irish adults place much less value on the importance of obeying authority than is apparent in many other countries.


Irish Millennials seem less materially motivated than is the case in many other countries, and few claim to need recognition by others of their social success.


There is comparatively lower agreement in Ireland that the country would be better off if ethnic and racial groups maintained their cultural identities: this perhaps reflects the rapidly changing social mix in Ireland and a general acceptance that the ongoing influx of migrants is good for the country rather than constituting a social problem. The Irish seem to encourage assimilation, and don’t necessarily value ethnic differences in society. They see the inflow of migrants as beneficially ‘diluting’ their indigenous population, but are less conscious that racial or ethnic groups might not necessarily aspire to assimilate.

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