Teachers ‘Retreat’ to learn about ‘The (bu)Y Generation’

Dr Justine Toh, a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity who also teaches Cultural Studies at Macquarie University, addressed our Broughton Staff Retreat Day on Friday 22 July.

She spoke about the ‘(bu)Y Generation’ who are heavily influenced by ‘Commoditisation’ that reduces everything to a price. Buying ‘stuff’ is how we create and maintain an identity trying to buy a life style and/or the envy of other people.

She went on to speak of ‘playground politics’ where the pecking order is determined and mediated by the peer group.

Time was spent discussing Facebook and how it allows for the production of a “branded self” where one can publicise “braggables” and photos can be a “social currency”. Playground politics is able to go on into adulthood with Facebook.

As Christians, we were reminded that hope lies in looking at ‘vertical self’ relationship rather than the ‘horizontal self’ relationship.

Horizontal Self

  • Peers as judge
  • Status as reward and punishment,
  • Key pressure is to keep up – exhausting and lonely,insecure and anxious
  • Impossible to win in the game as the rules constantly change

Vertical Self

  • God as the ultimate authority – identity is grounded in Him
  • His love is not based on worth so this gives worth
  • God saves by Grace not worthiness
  • Love and security exists in this relationship

Papers and videos by Justine Toh can be found on the Centre for Public Christianity website.

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