About INgene blog : First ever Indian Youth trend Insights blog

About INgene : First ever Indian Youth trend Insights blog:
This blog explores the detailed characteristics of Young-India and explains the finer & crucial differences they have with their global peers. The blog also establishes the theory of “adopted differentiation” (Copyright Kaustav SG,2007) and how the Indian & Inglodian youth are using this as a tool to differentiate themselves from the “aam aadmi” (mass population of India) to establish their new found identity.

The term youth refers to persons who are no longer children and not yet adults. Used colloquially, however the term generally refers to a broader, more ambiguous field of reference- from the physically adolescent to those in their late twenties.
Though superficially the youth all over the world exhibits similar [degree of] attitude, [traits of] interests & [deliverance of] opinion but a detailed observation reveals the finer differential characteristics which are crucial and often ignored while targeting this group as a valued consumer base. India is one of the youngest countries in the world with 60% of its population less then 24 years of age and is charted as the most prospective destination for the retail investment in the A. T. Kearney’s Global Retail Opportunity Report, 2007. With the first ever non-socialistic generation’s thriving aspiration & new found money power combined with steadily growing GDP, bubbling IT industry and increasing list of confident young entrepreneurs, the scenario appears very lucrative for the global and local retailers to target the “Youngisthan” (young-India). But, the secret remains in the understanding of the finer AIOs of this generation. The Indian youth segment roughly estimates close to 250million (between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five) and can be broadly divided (socio-psychologically) into three categories: the Bharatiyas, the Indians & the Inglodians (copyright Kaustav SG 2008). The Bharatiyas estimating 67% of the young population lives in the rural (R1, R2 to R4 SEC) areas with least influence of globalization, high traditional values. They are least economically privileged, most family oriented Bollywood influenced generation. The Indians constitute 31.5% (A, B,C, D & E SEC) and have moderate global influence. They are well aware of the global trends but rooted to the Indian family values, customs and ethos. The Inglodians are basically the creamy layers (A1,A SEC) and marginal (1.5% or roughly three million) in number though they are strongly growing (70% growth rate). Inglodians are affluent and consume most of the trendy & luxury items. They are internet savvy & the believers of global-village (a place where there is no difference between east & west, developing & developed countries etc.), highly influenced by the western music, food, fashion & culture yet Indian at heart.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Indian youth identity crisis (!?**)

Being an "outsider" its impossible to understand a generation of unique subcontinent which always remains in "plural"...I dont agree with Kaila. With my decade long experience I can confirm that Indian youth are well balanced in between tradition and modernisation...east vs west conflict happens in west. not in east. India was always exposed to the western influences and it means no "evil" to this generation too...intruders atleast tought us this skill...
stay in any Indian city for years and you will understand how the young generation balances the "influences"...and above all, we have a "family" to fall back. always.

The youth in India are more focused in their career and prospects of growth, than creating a so called "united front".

Kaustav SenGupta

India's Modern Day Youth Identity Crisis
A Conflicting Self-image is Disempowering India's Young Generation
© Kaila Krayewski

"Westernisation versus tradition, haves versus have-nots, young versus old. Indian youth are torn between images and it's preventing them forming a united front."

Youth of India are facing a time of identity crisis. They are split among their status groups, income groups, and generation groups among others. They are fraught with anxiety over their conflicting image. They have a desire to uphold their Indian traditions, while similarly attempting to keep up with, or advance beyond, the West. However, desires, behaviours and attitudes are so varied amongst Indian youth that it would be difficult to indicate a single direction this group might take.

Haves and Have-nots
New policies are cultivating growing divisions among young people, empowering some and victimising others; the division is most pronounced among consumption levels. This division between the haves and the have-nots is often ignored in discussion of India’s youth, which mostly focus on India’s economically prosperous adolescent generation.

The have-not youths are deeply affected by the poverty, which affects their ability to organise and the content of their protest. The latter group comprises the majority of Indian youth, with the haves only numbering around 16 million. Both groups are exposed to mass media advertising, and the have-nots are subjected to unsatisfiable cravings that lead to violence, crime, and self-destructive behaviours like taking drugs. Since the two sides have differing demands and methods by which they make those demands, organising amongst a coherent youth ‘whole’ is difficult.

Indian Youth Consumed by Desire
Consumerism, or the desire to consume, is rampant among Indian youth. Indeed, the youth market (14-25 years) is the largest consumer segment in India. Indian youth currently hold a massive $2.8 billion in discretionary income.

Yet the relationship between consumption and Indian youth is complex, some are prominent consumers and strongly associate consumption with their own identity, while other young people are minimal or non-consumers due to force, circumstance, or choice. Yet high rates of economic growth are a part of an Indian youth’s surroundings, whether or not they partake.

Despite their high hand in the growing economy, there has been a failure by the GoI to equitably deliver the fruits of development. This has drastically affected youth identities. Youth are frustrated that they are contributing economically to their country’s growth, but not given a say in the form this growth should take, hence they may feel they have unfulfilled political identities. Even more frustrated are the youth without purchasing power or political influence who feel even more powerless.

The Media's Effect on Adolescents in India
Mass media is another aspect drastically affecting youth identity in India. India is feeling the effects of a television culture shock. A Times of India article from June 20, 1979, states:

"The effects that we can already see—the depressing mental climate of our children and youth—are sufficiently frightening…There is no vitality around these young men; only an odour of talc and perfume. No manly gait, but a mincing feminine step forced on by elevator shoes. Unfortunately, the young girls are no better."

Melissa Butcher, in her book Transnational Television, Cultural Identity and Change: When Star came to India, criticised satellite television for creating a generation of zombie-like youth who were increasingly materialistic, disinterested in family ties, and individualistic.

According to Butcher, it is possible that even the have-not youths, though not common purchasers of these products, come to identify with them simply through their desire for them. Where in the past, national identity was bound in opposition to the West, television has played a large role in creating the idea of a pan-global shared youth culture. It has become a constructed cultural space that links Indian youth with their global counterparts.

The media is also largely thought to be contributing to the objectification of Indian youth, directing them towards a facade of being cool, young and happening.

Identifying with the West
Young people from more closed social spaces (such as urban bastis) felt a commonality with an image of a group of young people from the United States. For them it indicated ‘all friends together’ and ‘unity’. However, the sense of comradeship in the image has an aspirational quality to it. The depiction of peer bonding and freedom is in contrast to their lived experience set by family and community.

Indian youth seem to want the best of both worlds; they want to see themselves as similar to their Western counterparts, but they also want to retain a certain ‘Indianness’. This cultural hybridity is reflective of a dual youth identity. It maintains the cultural identity of the nation’s youth while allowing them to feel a sense of global youth culture across borders.

The copyright of the article India's Modern Day Youth Identity Crisis in India is owned by Kaila Krayewski. Permission to republish India's Modern Day Youth Identity Crisis in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

Read more: http://india.suite101.com/article.cfm/indias_youth_identity_crisis#ixzz0QLaWYBRv
comments by a guest: An interesting article but i think i would have to point out that i don't actually argue that satellite television has created 'a generation of zombie-like youth who were increasingly materialistic, disinterested in family ties, and individualistic'. The impact of TV is much more nuanced. There are many other factors involved eg the family, education, government economic and social policies, language. It could even be argued that satellite tv had some positive effects eg positive role models, content specifically for young people that was relevant to them. Young people are quite able to interpret what they see, reject it, adapt it, assimilate it (so far from being 'zombies' there is plenty of evidence for 'active audiences'). There's also a need to take into account what we mean by satellite tv - does Indian content on satellite tv concern the author as much as western content or is it the commercial model of broadcasting, no matter what the content, that is the corrupting influence? I'd simply argue that television is implicated in change but what the final outcome is is dependent, in particular, on the existing social context of the viewer.

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