July 01, 2016

Roughly 3 out of 10 American millennials are not particularly proud of being a U.S. citizen; according to a new study being released by Richards/Lerma, in partnership with The Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at The University of Texas at Austin.

These days, as we celebrate independence and our glorious nation, preliminary results from the nationally representative study of 1,000 millennials may raise some red flags about the current and future state of national morale.

Surprisingly, those least likely to have a long American heritage are the ones who have the strongest American pride. In fact, white millennials have the lowest levels of pride compared with other ethnic groups within the generation.

Should we be concerned about the results? Are new generations growing disenchanted with the idea of America? Are they becoming less patriotic?

No. They are just more demanding of the nation, and also of themselves.

American millennials aspire to contribute personally to build a better country. They love America as much as any other generational group, so they will also celebrate the 4th of July, but from a different perspective. They are as patriotic as previous generations, if not more so, but their take on patriotism is very different.

Richards/Lerma and The Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at The University of Texas at Austin analyzed multiple variables of the study to assess what different respondents understood as patriotism and found that millennials are less attached to traditional expressions of American pride, such as believing in God first and country second, singing the national anthem, saying in the Pledge of Allegiance, or supporting U.S. troops.

On the other side, they score highly on more active patriotic attributes like the aforementioned willingness to build a better America, freedom, taking an active role in politics, and the right to pursue happiness, among others.

But then, if millennials are moving on toward new expressions of patriotism, who is left to fly the American flag and sing the National Anthem with pride? Who are the guardians of our patriotic traditions? One might think it would be U.S.-born whites, but surprisingly, study reveals the most adamant defenders of traditional patriotism are Hispanics aged 35 and older.

For any organization or brand that aspires to connect with millennials, understanding their political priorities and views of America is crucial.

In the coming weeks, Richards/Lerma and The Stan Richards School of Advertising and Public Relations at The University of Texas will release the full version of the study, shedding light on how to connect with millennials: their political concerns and social priorities.

The study will also uncover thought-provoking revelations around their views on the political system and current presidential candidates.

 

 

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