An Army of One: Me, an essay by Jean Twenge illustrates the prominence of “self-esteem” in our society and how it has developed throughout time. Twenge discusses how having “self-esteem” or the idea of feeling confidence in oneself has completely transformed since the 1960’s. She is able to depict this through numerous examples in her essay truly portraying an accurate conception of the revolution of self-esteem.
Twenge begins her argument by explaining that before the 1960’s, “self-esteem” did not have a pronounced role in the average life. Most people as Twenge explained learned at a very early age that recognizing others as opposed to only recognizing oneself, was much more important. In addition to this dating back hundreds of years ago, people had very little say in the decisions that were made in one’s own life. Who one married, what one’s job was, what one’s religious affiliation was-these were all decisions made by one’s parents. Slowly but surely however, as time went on people began more and more to become more individualistic and make decisions for themselves.
The Baby Boomers as Twenge describes, in the 1970’s were the first real generation to truly focus on “meaning and self-fulfillment”. Despite that this is true, Twenge makes the argument that the boomers are not in fact the “real” Generation Me because they were not born into a world with these ideologies, but instead later explored it. In addition to this, the boomers generally did most things in groups and not on their own and therefore, are not considered to be Generation Me. Twenge then compares the two generations and how the two groups differentiate. The reader is able to see how being born into an environment where you are raised with the ideas of having to have high self-esteem leads to entitlement more self-absorbed people (GenMe) versus trying to fulfill oneself on ones own.
The importance of having a high self-esteem has become very significant in the 80’s and...
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