Now - OCEA - Ontario Cooperative Education Association



Now - OCEA - Ontario Cooperative Education Association
Now: 10 Things to Know
about Young Canadians.
Presented by:
Max Valiquette, Youthography
Hello, Ontario Co-Operative Education Association!
about youthography
• Founded in 2001, Youthography is Canada’s
leading youth marketing consultancy
• Youth market research, strategy and marketing
• Plenty of research (quant and qual)
– We put ‘youth at the epicenter’
• Marketing
– ‘money where mouth is’ factor
• We’re immature
about me
• I also host TVOntario’s “Vox Talk,” a youth-issues
talk show
• We film it, often in schools, – yay! – using youth
panellists, with a young audience – cool!
1. 10 things to know about Young Canadians
2. 10 things to know about Schools and the
school to work transition
10 Things to Know About
Young Canadians
1. the 4 x 5 factor
• The 10-29 group divides into four equal five-year cohorts
Male / Female
Male / Female
(% of population)
TOTAL 10-29
2. Home Offers Less
• 80% of them come from families with only 1-2
children at home
– A greater reliance on friends
• 60% of women work out of home
– Coupled with single-parent households, it means that
“3:30 to 5:30 is my chill time…it’s the time for me
alone at home.”
• 67% of unmarried 20-24-year-olds live at home
– And yet, they are staying at home longer…
Getting into Adulthood Earlier…
Average age of educational enrollment: <4
Average age of 1st menstruation: 10-11 (vs. 12+)
Average age of 1st cigarette: 13
Average age of “school-type” decision: 14
Average age of 1st intercourse: <16 (vs. <18)
…but Fully Getting There Later…
Median age at graduation: 23 (vs 22)
Average age at graduation: 26 (vs 24)
Average age of 1st marriage: 29 (vs 25)
Average age of 1st childbirth: 29 (vs 26)
3. …Equals Prolonged Pre-Adulthood
4. They Play Teenager, not Grownup
<8 years
Wear a cause bracelet
Get tutored
16 years>
Lipstick / Foundation / Blush
Volunteer / Walk for the Cure
Get tutored
5. And Can Share Trends
13 years
All Video Games
DIY - Scrapbooking
Buying a Tim’s double-double
Skate and Snow Boarding
29 years
Networked Games
DIY – Value Village
Brewing specialty coffee
Board Culture Brand Apparel
6. What They Value
And what sews it all together…Technology
what they value
So, Technology is Changing…
• Then (1980-1996):
– Slow change in technology and entertainment
– Traditional models of consuming, creating culture
• Then to Now (1996-2005):
– CD to MP3, DVD, Gaming Consoles, All-in-ones
– Complete reversal in way culture is created, distributed
• Now:
– Huge speed of change is regular
– Settling on new distribution models, sources of culture
…and they Adopt it Quickly
• Entertainment & Technology
– BitTorrent Foreign Movies
– Television on your cell phone
– Pause Live TV; Movies-OnDemand
– Video iPod: Watch “Lost” on
the run
– Web radio and Satellite radio
– TV Series Released on DVD
– Home Wireless Internet
7. …so it’s Transition there, also
Jan 2005
Sept 2005
8. They Integrate Cultural Elements
Better than ever Before: Presenting
Integration Culture
integration culture: THEN
separate elements = separate identities
• Different elements developed, adopted and
subscribed to by distinct sub-cultures or “tribes”
• Hip hop culture, fetish culture, black culture,
white suburban culture, gay culture, skateboard
culture, jock culture etc…
• You could see these at school…
separate elements = separate identities
diversity, change and experimentation
• 80s: media expansion (radio formats, print,
expanding channel universe)
• 90s: media explosion (internet, 500 channels)
• Increased immigration
• …diversity, change and experimentation
became the iconic elements of our culture –
“tribal” elements cross-pollinate…
• …and become less relevant as culture
“blending” and “bending” became the norm
diversity, change and experimentation
integration culture: NOW
“integration culture”
• “Tribes” becoming increasingly peripheralized
• Now: full-on integration of as many “cultures”
into self-identity as wanted
• Borders between “tribes” are losing relevance –
they are bleeding successfully into each other
• Cultural borders foreign to young Canadians
• Mixing and mashing up their own identity
“integration culture”
“integration culture” examples
• Mash-ups in music (hello “Hung Up” et al)
• Your iPod list (“Everything but country!”)
• Fashion mixing (hip hop, rock, new wave, techno
and bohemian all living in one outfit)
• Gender blending (beyond simple hetero / homo)
• Ethnic blending (moving beyond black, white,
red and yellow to wholly new racial blends)
“integration culture”
“integration culture” examples
• Also reflects in consumer choices, as we no longer
want one thing to do just one thing: young people
are so media, consumer and brand literate that
they look for multiple functions in one purchase
PSP and Treo (give me everything all in one device)
Streaming media and networked games on your PC
Food culture (Russian dim sum, foie gras hamburgers)
Wraps and smoothies (all in one please)
Cockapoos vs. pure breds (mixing is better)
“integration culture”
9. They Live in a World Where “Vice” is
a Part of our Normal Experience:
Presenting Hedonormalization
hedonormalization: THEN
sex and drugs: negative or cloistered
• Pre-1950s: mainstream Western culture didn’t
really acknowledge human sexuality or drugs
• Sexuality: controversial and “dirty,” nonmainstream sexuality was considered “deviant”
• Recreational Drugs: linked to subterranean or
criminal elements; or rebellion
sex and drugs: negative and cloistered
sex & drugs slowly seen as natural, human
• Feminism, gay rights help push sex to mainstream
• Notions of “deviancy” started to liberalize
– Kinsey Report and The Joy of Sex read by regular folk
• Sexual fulfillment becoming an important element
of life (swinger culture, the perfect orgasm)…
• …but people were still defining themselves by
their sexual behaviours (“I’m a swinger,” “It’s the
Summer of Love,” “Nobody knows I’m gay” t-shirts)
• …and open, but only in a “safe” environment
(key party, gay village, out-of-the-way sex shop)
sex & drugs slowly seen as natural, human
sex & drugs slowly seen as natural, human
• Recreational drug use: slowly more accepted
• Marijuana and cocaine, in particular, became
common to reference in popular culture
• Pop cultural permission (and evolved production
and marketing) make these drugs easier to get
• Ecstasy also rises in popularity: a drug with a
community – people want to talk about it
• …but still defined by their drugs (“He’s a
stoner,” “I’m a raver”) or taking it outside (“We’ll
go puff one out back”)
sex and drugs slowly seen as natural, human
hedonormalization: NOW
• Now we (young people especially) see sex and
drugs as common and expected
• Both in pop culture and personal experience
• Younger parents / caregivers increasingly
– Boomers got around quite a bit in the 70s and 80s;
Reefer Madness was a myth
• AIDS awareness promoting acknowledgement of
youth sexual activity and safe sex practices
• Focus on personal satisfaction from sex
• Internet has made pornography access almost
ubiquitous and much more private…
• …but also allowed us to share it
• “War on drugs” being seen increasingly as
wrong strategy
• Medical community linking marijuana with some
health benefits (leads to “medicinal marijuana”)
• Pharma-culture becoming more pervasive; more
permissive socio-cultural attitudes regarding
drug use in general (Paxil, Viagra, Cialis, Zyban)
• Exploding influences, information, standards have
created a larger culture of general permissiveness
• Only minimal organized censorship of ideas or
content currently exists
• We talk about sex, and sexuality in a very
open and frank way (in culture, at the water
cooler, in lots of advertising)…
• …and no one really cares if you light up a joint
• Oh! And don’t forget gambling!
“hedonormalization” examples
• Sex and sexuality on mainstream TV (Sex and the City,
The O.C., Desperate Housewives, The L Word)
• Graphic sex advice as standard as “Dear Abby” (Savage
Love, Love Bites, Sex With Sue, Sex TV)
• “Hook up” culture (Lava Life, HurryDate, Ashley Madison)
• Sexual aids now seen as standard personal appliances
• Male magazines (Maxim, FHM, Stuff)
• Rise of burlesque and stripper athletics
• Booty shaking in hip hop culture
• Rise of homemade pornography
• The totally inappropriate e-mail you send to everyone
“hedonormalization” examples
• Canadian Addiction Survey: 70 per cent of us will have
smoked a joint at some point
• Potential marijuana decriminalization; policing less stringent
• Quasi-legal toke bars in Vancouver and Toronto
• Safe shooting sites in Vancouver, proposed for Toronto
• Major celebrities openly discuss their marijuana proclivities
• Rise of coke culture (again)
• Canada: 40,000 people every weekend at clubs that don’t
serve alcohol and are open ‘til 10am
• NOTE: Permissiveness still mostly focused on marijuana;
however leads to culture of permissivity across the board –
and let’s see what happens with this new government
“hedonormalization” examples
Hedonormalization: So what?
• Maclean’s: “Pass the Weed, Dad.” (November ’05)
• “if I am drunk, I can call my parents for a ride
home, no questions asked.”
• “My parents bought me condoms.”
• “My parents aren’t at home a lot...”
10. So if everything else is changing,
aren’t schools changing also?
• We view schools as venerable and long-standing
• Which is true, as an institution, but schools have
needed to change over the past decade or so…
• …to respond to changing youth culture and trends
• Internet, personal safety, job competitiveness,
workplace demands, a decline in trades…let’s
explore some of what we are seeing…
10 Things to Know About
Schools and the School-toWork Transition
1. Teachers: Providers to Facilitators
• Teachers no longer control content
• Always something newer out there
• Need to know what is right and what isn’t
2. Internet: the Dominant Force
• The “self-directed” student
• Global Learning
– MIT offering free courses on-line to people across the
globe just to harness their brainpower
• Handing in a digital copy for convenience…
• …or for plagiarism
• “I start all of my research with Google.”
3. School Competes with the ‘Net, Too
• Chatting while doing homework
• Texting in class
– “I used the calculator on my phone, but would also text
friends for answers”
• Part of a larger intrusive force that the Internet is
exerting on all parts of youth culture: it’s almost
impossible to separate it out now
4. School is no Longer a Social Hub
• Technology facilitates having friends all over
– “I can text my friends whenever I want to”
– “I use 10-4 and I can Walkie-Talkie someone across
the country for free”
• Also larger age gaps at Colleges and Universities
– everyone at school might not be “just like you”
5. Pressure to Decide on Direction Earlier
• Direction increasingly includes post-secondary
• “In Grade 9, you pretty much have to know
whether or not you want to do Arts or math and
Science – it’s crazy.”
• Part of the prolonged pre-adult lifestage
• “We all feel like we have to go to University”
• “If I don’t get to College, at least, what do I do?”
6. Pressure to Work Starts Earlier
• Allowance at an all-time low:
work for pay more important
• Wanting more disposable
income: means taking more time
to finish (with part-time work)
• Also, means a greater pressure
to have some sort of workplace
skills for some, ASAP
Work and School
Simply rate each of the following concepts, ideas or values in terms of their importance to YOUR LIFE
Internal National Study / Spring 2004 / 1329 year old
Top Box Results
Developing new skills
Getting formally educated
Finding things for yourself
Having a lifelong career
Being informed - current events
Being street smart
Starting a business
Work and School
• Formal education is seen as being most important
for 18-22 year olds – the age where people are
most likely to be in it
• High school students: least likely to get
importance of formal education or new skills…
• …but like every other demo, place more
importance on skills than a formal education…
• …which increasingly means white collar skills
(even with a blue collar mentality)
7. Move to Colleges, Universities
• Emphasis on “skills” for many; particularly relevant
in an era of communications (not trade skills)
• Close to 80% HS graduation rate: increase is from
people who go on to Colleges
• Trades are being squeezed out: the death of the
blue collar worker
– Gov’t: $12 Million ad campaign
– Parents: “I didn’t work 25 years in trades so you would!”
University Enrolment
1997/98 to 2003/04
Full Time
Part Time
Statistics Canada, 2005
• Total post-secondary enrolment – Universities,
Colleges and Trade Schools – is somewhere
north of 1.6 million Canadians
• In 2002, about 2/3 of young Canadians aged 1824 had taken some sort of post-secondary
• Approximately 300,000 students graduating
post-secondary education per year
8. School is More Expensive
• Not just the cost of tuition (although, wow)
• Living expenses
• Computers and Internet access
Tuition Costs
• Average tuition increased over 135% over 10 years
• Average tuition in 2003 was $4,025 nationally
Increase 1990-2000
Tuition Costs
School Debt
• About half of college and university grads left
school owing money for their education, mostly
from government student loan programs
• 1/7 university graduates owes 25K or more in
government student loans upon graduating
• More are working part-time and taking longer to
9. Schools are More of a Business
• More expensive (means
greater expectations)
• Marketed as businesses are
(the school as brand)
• Elements surrounding
schools – scholarship or
research websites; oncampus businesses, etc –
greater than ever before
Marketing in Schools
Which of the following statements is closest
to your opinion of marketing in schools, colleges or universities?
2000 %
2002 %
No marketing, period
Special circumstances/
company gives back
Marketing is perfectly fine
10. So Schools Need to Learn to Change
• A time of great transition and change
• But part of a larger cycle of change
• Schools need to adapt to changing needs of
• Technology is critical (but expensive, I know)
• Ask your most forward-thinking students where
they see things going…
• …as the barriers between urban and rural
continue to break
• A regular symposium with students?

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