CDCE Director's New Book: The Politics of Millennials
Millennials—the cohort born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s—is the largest generation in the United States. They exceed one-quarter of the population, and theirs is the most diverse generation in U.S. history. As Millennials become increasingly influential across major sectors of society— including business, education, and politics—Associate Professor of Government and Politics Stella Rouse and coauthor Ashley D. Ross are uniquely examining what factors help form their identity, and how that identity affects the way they think about politics.
In “The Politics of Millennials: Political Beliefs and Policy Preferences of America's Most Diverse Generation” (University of Michigan Press, 2018), Rouseand Ross explore the myriad factors that shape Millennials’ political identity, attitudes,beliefs and behaviors. The work draws fromfive years of research and includes numerousinterviews and polls.
Rouse and her coauthor found that, based on polls, Millennials were much less likely to vote in the 2016 elections than older adults. Of those who are politically active, 43% of Millennial poll respondents self-identified as liberal, a much higher percentage compared to the 31% of other adults polled who self-identified as liberal.
But Rouse cautions readers not to think they can predict Millennial viewpoints or voting behavior based on just a few factors or common media stereotypes.
“On important social issues such as gun control, marriage equality, and the legalization of marijuana, Millennials are not monolithic, especially across racial and ethnic lines. While they may skew as more liberal than other generations overall, their liberalness has gradations,” Rouse said.