Measuring Intellectual Potential of Indonesian Millennial Generation

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An illustration of millennial generation which was born in the decade of 1980-2000. (Illustration: )

Discussions on millennial generation have often been done. Most of them aim at the perspective of economic potential and the optimization of demographic quantities. In this opportunity, the author tries to offer a new perspective, a critical analysis of the intellectuality of the millennial generation in Indonesia.

When capital ownership creates an opportunity to dominate, then understanding Pierre Bourdieu’s class fraction theory is a way. This class fraction theory teaches the aesthetic preferences of youth, determined by the variation of social capital, economic capital, and cultural capital.

In Indonesia, cultural capital is a highly relevant and urgent potential to be established. It is the overall intellectual qualification of each person honed in the world of education.

Alternative means, mastery of cultural capital (intellectual) as a weapon, should be given an ideal portion. Looking at today’s reality, the country and the younger generation ( baby boomers and generation X generation) are unable to master economic capital (means of production), social capital (diplomatic), as well as symbolic capital (recognition of identity), so it can have an impact on our inability to win the battle in various special rooms. In Piere Bourdieu language is termed as “Arena”.

In the “Arena”, in order to win the battle, it needs the right capital. The cultural capital in form of intellectuality of Indonesian millennial generation is an elegant and appropriate capital as an alternative to win the free market competition.

Measuring Intellectuality

Millennial generation is the generation born in the 1980-2000 period. They were born and grown along with the sophistication of information technology. This position forms a stagnant and indulgent behavior. Routines in the internet connection for 24 hours and gadgets in hand is the reality.

As a modern and proficient generation in using technology, it should be able to utilize the existing technology to the maximum, not enslaved by it. It is a dilemma and unfortunate when the sophistication of information technology created by the capital ruler forms two axes of the disparity.

The first axis, when every information flows through internet access, can the millennial generation choose wisely the information that suits the needs? Theirs success will contribute to the acceleration of welfare development. Conversely, failure can lead to a catastrophic outbreak of acute ignorance, false consciousness, and profits to the ruler of media capital or we can call it as a slave to media capital.

The second axis, the speed and vast access to information obtained will be maximum benefit if it is well-compared with the book as a verified and valid source. It should be agreed that the internet and the information cannot be used as a reference validity of a data, but as a preliminary to information and lighter path to a verified and valid source of the study. Remember, the scattered information and the composition of science is different. It is the media capital opposition.

Instinctively, both the slave of media capital (media literacy) and the media capitalist opposition axis (literary book) are separated by the power of capital. Both climbed different paths in finding a clear voice between the noises.

The intellectual level of the millennial generation of Indonesia in the latest dosage was quite disturbing. Based on the study of “Most Littered Nation In The World” conducted by Central Connecticut University in 2016, Indonesian society literacy was the second worst of 65 countries in the world studied.  Indonesia is ranked 64th out of 65 countries.

Stay optimistic

Although the production of information is in the middle of nowhere and the media for shaping consumptive behavior continues to innovate, Indonesian millennial generation still has the opportunity to seize power from consumptive behavior towards productive activity. Optimism bursts when the intellectual capital (cultural) in the “arena” has been owned. No matter how small, capital remains capital. Pioneering is a steep road that must be taken.

The bad data shown about the millennial intellectuals of Indonesia was countered with a myriad of millennial generation’s achievements in the field of education at international arena. This is a proof of how potential this cultural (intellectual) capital to build and develop.

It is fundamentally solid. It is just how the millennial generation able to demonstrate the cultural capital of intellectuality consistently, courageously and neatly.

Highest achievement of demographic bonuses and 2045 gold mega projects will be achieved when the control and ownership of intellectual capital can be secured and applied. In that period the millennial generation was the largest contributor in the demographic composition of Indonesia. The personal contribution of the millennial generation through cultural capital is a way that the formulation which policy makers are hoped to find.

In order to avoid the single utilization of economic capital (tools of production), the cultural capital (intellectual) should be developed and its potential in various “arena” should be considered. (*)

Editor: Bambang Bes


This post is also available in: Indonesian

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Media komunikasi dan informasi seputar kampus Universitas Airlangga (Unair).

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