Tuesday, January 30, 2007

My Bias or Theirs? 

So, I'm reading this book that you see to the left - Hungry Souls, Holy Companions - and I've only made it through the first chapter, but I really like what I've read so far. By and large, this book is describing the issues of the kids in my youth group in an honest and authentic, non-judgmental way. Not all the things it talks about apply - these kids, by and large products of a middle class suburban environment, are not as postmodern as the book suggests kids in this generation are. But it is firing at moving targets (the work of describing whole generations is very difficult), so that's ok.

One frustrating fact for me is that it describes the Gen X-ers as being born between 1961 and 1981, and the Millenials as being born between 1982-2002. Being born in '81, that puts me smack in the middle, so evn this attempt at definition fails for me. I identify with the Millenials more than the Gen X-ers, I know that much.

Anyway, on page 3, it has two lists. One features words describing "Modern Values", and the other features words describing "Postmodern Values." As I read through this list, I said to myself, "Well, clearly this author is biased towards postmodern values because that list seems to have distinctly more positive connotations and the "modern values" list, less positive. Then, later in the day, I thought about it some more. Is the bias the author's, or mine? Is it possible that I assumed the "postmodern values" list had more positive connotations because I am more postmodern (than I think I am)? That was a more shocking thing to me than I anticipated, and the fact that I was unable to anticipate it shocked me more. So, let me give you the two lists here, and let you see what you think. Those of you out there who would definitely define yourselves as not postmodern, please tell me if the "modern values" list appeals to you more, or at least if more words in that list appeal to you that in the other list? I'm fascinated to know where the burden of bias falls!

Modern Values

Postmodern Values



Before reading the 2 lists, I thought I would prefer the modern one because I am a boomer. However, the postmodern adjectives hit a chord with me while the modern ones struck me as very negative and unappealing, with a few exceptions.

Interesting. Would my preferences have been different before beginning seminary? Is seminary therefore keeping me young? At least intellectually/spiritually? That would certainly be nice!

Hope the book is helpful in you ministry to our youth! Be careful of fish from heaven!


By Blogger MomP, at 2:12 PM  

Hrm...the modern list tends to appeal to me. Of course, I'm also on the cusp of X-er vs Millenial. I suggest perhaps it's a professional/personality issue rather than a generational thing? Rather, perhaps there's more variety within generations than we've been led to believe?

By Anonymous Hudd, at 3:42 PM  

I always assume it's your bias. ;)


Probably a bit of both. In general, I think the lists are pretty neutral and it's probably your own preference for the postmodern. My only exception to that is the use of the terms exclusive and egocentric on the modern list. Those aren't exactly positive words in many people's books.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:29 PM  

On the brink of the cusp, I was born in December of 1980. I find good and bad points on both lists, but if I had to make a quick, playclock-ticking decision, I would have to say the post-modern list is more appealing.

Perhaps the influence is clearly generational, but I feel there are many other factors affecting the view (i.e. nurtured values, life experience, disciplinary pov (my philosophy vs. Scott's chemistry)), and so forth may have an impact.

By Blogger Rebecca, at 8:13 PM  

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