Generation Y Remakes Collective Living

As housing costs increase and well-paying jobs are harder to find, Generation Y is reaching back into its collective conscious and living like many of their parents once did. Baby Boomers made communes famous. Now their grown children would rather live with each other than move back into their parents basements, or worse, the living rooms of their new condos. Many members of Gen Y loved living on campus. Now they can recreate the drama and the fun-without the restrictions.

One major change Generation Y has made from their parents’ living arrangements is to not make them communes or collective in the way their parents did. Sure they split their cable bills—part of the reason they’re living together is so they can afford all the technology their generation craves. No one is going without wireless cable internet. They may compost, but indoor plumbing is not up for discussion, either. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit have even bought the homes for  their friends to rent because this generation saw all the trouble their parents went through to pry themselves loose from truly collective living.

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3 Replies on “Generation Y Remakes Collective Living

  1. We are definitely not living in a bigger house than my parents. At the same relative income as my father, we were able to afford a less than one acre lot with a 900 sq ft house with a half hour work commute one way. My parents were able to afford a thirteen acre farmette and fund a one hour work commute one way. Both houses were fixer uppers.

  2. Even if incomes haven’t changed for middle class, the standard of living certainly has. I, and much of the middle class, can watch movies in high definition on a big screen in living rooms, while my parents had a 13-inch television. Today’s middle class dines out in restaurants frequently, while the middle class of the previous generation focused much more on cooking in the home. The middle class a generation ago didn’t place the stigma on renting an apartment rather than buying a house that today’s generation does, and it’s been normal for middle class individuals and families to own houses soon after starting a career or a family.

  3. Is this trend a good thing or is it creating a generation of Peter Pans who will never grow up? Several experts weigh in, including Sociologist Richard Settersten, co-author of Not Quite Adults: Why 20 Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood; Psychologist Jeffrey Arnett, author of Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road From The Late Teens Through The Twenties; Social Psychologist Jane Adams, who spends much of her time coaching boomer parents on how to deal with their adult children; and Christina Newberry, whose book and website The Hands On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home offer tips and advice for parents on how to establish a workable living arrangement with their adult children.