According to Keith Barnes (2013) the Millennials, or Generation Y, are those individuals born between 1982 to 2004. The Millennials, and the stereotypes that surround them, have received a significant amount of media attention. Negative stereotypical beliefs about Millennials include that are not as committed to their work, they do not value face-to-face interaction, they are dependent on all forms of technology, and that they balance and prioritize their work and family responsibilities differently from other generations (Barnes, 2013). Andrew Potter (2010) describes the Millennials as being “a self-centered and politically apathetic cohort of cool-hunting technology addicts” (p. 20). In contrast, positive stereotypic beliefs about Millennials are that they are confident, team-oriented, achieving, and committed to social justice (Howe & Strauss, 2000). They are also more tolerant of diversity and express a commitment to equality and fairness. However, they also hold a “colorblind” attitude regarding race, believing that ignoring skin color is an effective way to reduce racism (Bouie, 2014).
Based on the ideas from social identity theory, Joshi, Dencker, Franz, and Martoccio (2010) propose that there is a generational identity, defined as “an individual's knowledge that he or she belongs to a generational group/role, together with some emotional and value significance to him or her of this group/role membership” (p. 393). Thus, people from different generations, such as Millennials and Baby Boomers, should have different views about their own group and should also have different social concerns. For example, Millennials’ views are affected by rapidly advancing technology whereas Baby Boomers are concerned about the fiscal challenges of retirement in our current economy (Barnes, 2013). Thus, each generation has different values and standards that can intensify intergenerational conflicts (North & Fiske, 2012).