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May 27, 1994 - Image 84

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-05-27

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The age is the
same, but the
issues are
different for
today's young


Generational Differences

t 24, Marlene Goodman
had been married for a
few years. She was
pregnant with her
first child and she
had two years of
teaching under her




-- D







Her daughter Lainie, now 23,
attends graduate school. She
eventually wants to have a fam-
ily of her own, but right now it is
not a top priority.
"We were taught to get mar-
ried and have children," said Mrs.
Goodman, of Farmington Hills.
'When I was Lainie's age, every-
one I knew was a teacher. We all
went to college, got teaching de-
grees and then got married.
Hopefully, it worked out that
way. In my case it did.
"I think 23 would be awfully
young for Lainie to get married.
It is a whole different world now.
You need money. It takes a two-
income family to exist."
Twenty years ago, young
adults went from walking
through their graduation cere-

ates have to go for
monies to walking down Lainie and Marlene
employment," Mr.
the aisle at their wed- Goodman: Mother
and daughter and
Crusoe said. "They
may not understand
Some men prepared best friends.
that it is necessary to
to leave the United
States for the first time — they take a lesser job as a stepping
went to fight in Vietnam. Some stone to a job their parents got
of the women, like Mrs. Good- right out of the chute. I'm a par-
ent of the generation we are talk-
man, worked for a few years.
Today's twentysomethings are ing about. Parents who have gone
thinking about earning money, through college have difficulty
seizing opportunities and learn- understanding this, but it is fur-
ther exaggerated for parents who
ing how to "beat the system."
Experiences are different for have not gone through college."
In 1968, unemployment fig-
today's young adults compared
with the time their parents were ures for 25- to 34-year-olds was
2.8 percent. In 1993, that figure
in their 20s and 30s.
For example, the thought of be- jumped to 6.8 percent, according
ing drafted into the military is to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
"The reality of today is, it is
the furthest thing from young
adults' minds today. But 20 years more difficult to compete," said
Fay Rosen, a clinical social work-
ago, it was a major concern.
Jack Crusoe, the executive di- er at Jewish Family Service who
rector of University Counseling counsels young adults. "Another
and Career Placement Services concern I often hear about is dat-
at Wayne State University, calls ing and meeting the right person
this phenomenon intergenera- or meeting someone who is Jew-
ish. The closer they get to 30, the
tional mismatch.
"Some parents today may not more they start to wonder, 'Will
realize to what extreme gradu- I find someone or do I want to get

ting paid," Ms. Goodman said.
married?' "
Today, young adults, especial-
Today, women from both gen-
erations comprise much more of ly recent graduates, are fright-
the workforce than ever before. ened about the prospects of
Unlike their mothers, young finding jobs in their fields.
"I would say the biggest dif-
women today can expect to work
full time for the rest of their lives, ference is, 25 years ago you were
Mr. Crusoe said.
"After I had Lainie,
I started to do volun-
teer work, which is
what everyone did,"
said Mrs. Goodman, a
past president of the
sisterhood and the
married group at
Temple Beth El.
"Many women made a
career out of volunteer
Her daughter, who
is working on a mas-
ter's degree in Jewish
communal service and
social work, is prepar-
Mall Riley, Billy Narens and David Israel were
ing for a career in the
among the young adults who dressed in
Jewish community.
1970s attire for a fund-raiser at Industry
"I'm going to do
nightclub. Proceeds went to Orchards Chil-
dren's Services.
what my mom did as a
volunteer, but I'm get-

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