Where Nobody Knows Your Name
Do we really care if you're Caroline Kennedy or Caroline Hussein?
Digital cutlure might be fueling a criticism of nepotism in politics
and the workforce.
You might have had to look up the word "nepotism"
in the dictionary over the past couple weeks, in light of the talk in
the media about Caroline Kennedy taking over Hillary Clinton's seat in
the U.S. Senate. Then again, maybe you had to look up "Caroline Kennedy"
(I so forgot which one she was too): The royalty of the Kennedy name
doesn't mean as much to Generation Y, because we obviously weren't
around for the J.F.K. days (The New York Times).
royalty in general doesn't mean as much to us. That could have
something to do with why there's an Obama in the White House and not a
Clinton. While the strength of a family name might always hold fast,
Americans in general, and particularly younger people, seem to be
increasingly skeptical of those who receive honors based on a family
Sorry to pick on Caroline Kennedy (it's not like she
doesn't have meaningful qualifications), but she is a perfect news peg.
Critics in the press and elsewhere have questioned how someone like
her, with no elected experience whatsoever, would deserve a U.S. Senate seat on the basis of family legacy (San Francisco Chronicle).
However, when you look back on our political history, we mine as well
be England's House of Lords --why are we criticizing this now? The
criticism of nepotism is emerging from digital culture -- because on
the Internet, nobody knows your name. The Internet has fueled the voice
of the masses, and so we are becoming more questioning of the voice of
Generation Y especially questions this class
privilege, as products of this digital culture. I tip my hat to the
past two generations, who certainly had their more poignant
anti-establishment moments than we ever will, as we quietly type away
in our digital universe. While baby boomers had marches, we have blogs.
And it works: There is no place on earth where class is more obsolete
than the Internet (even with the digital divide).
course, it's a tough world out there, and in the workforce,
twentysomethings cannot be naive to the ways of the game. Perhaps we
will see trends away from family legacy importance, but no matter what
name you were born, the workforce will always be about who you know.
Class privilege and nepotism will always exist, and the East Coast is
especially famous for it. What is interesting is how culture is
changing via the Web so that we are increasingly introduced to people
on the basis of content and not connection.
This post was first published at www.y-rd.blogspot.com.
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