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Home » Why We Should Quit Generational Stereotypes: Marcus Schögel (Transcript)

Why We Should Quit Generational Stereotypes: Marcus Schögel (Transcript)

Here is the full transcript of Professor Marcus Schögel’s talk titled “Why We Should Quit Generational Stereotypes” at TEDxBerlin 2024 conference.

Listen to the audio version here:


The Generational Divide: A Closer Look

Generations. Do we need to talk about this? The media is full of the Xers, the Yers, the Zers, and everything. And we are clear what we mean with that.

And we know, yes, you’re a Z guy, you’re a Y guy, I’m an X guy. I would challenge this and give you a perspective on telling you there are no generations that help us to understand each other. And the generational divide is something that we’re just pushing forward with this. Let me start out with myself.

This is me. Where am I? Okay, this should be me. It should be a photo of myself in 1991 when I was here in Berlin doing my final thesis for my degree.

Personal Experience with Generation X

And I was very happy, you know, the wall came down, the city was buzzing, a lot of perspectives and we were all in high spirit and really had a good time, I think, to a certain extent. And then all of a sudden there came up a book called “The Generation X,” which told me, hey, you’re a guy, you grow up with no chance, no career, no job, you’re really in the midst, you should listen to grunge music, Nirvana should be your band, and you should love Cherry Coke.

And there, 1991, the book came out, “The Generation X,” and everybody was looking at the book and saying, this is what you are, Marcus, you’re a Gen Xer, you should listen to grunge music, your band should be Nirvana, you should be loving Cherry Coke. And I was looking at it, wait a second, there’s a little bit of a difference between the people in the States and in Europe.

And this haunted me for many years, and it came down to me in the last years when we talk about the Generation Z, that I think we need to change those perceptions, because they don’t help us, they’re stereotypes, and stereotypes are the basis for the worst decisions that we can take. So Generation Z is about always on the phone, never really taking it down to business, always dancing for the next 16-foot TikTok video, and they are lazy, they don’t want to do, but they’re very self-confident.

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