The decade of diversity
We are now a little over halfway through the first decade of the 21st Century. The memories of parties on New Year’s Eve 1999 are beginning to fade — perhaps even on the first day of 2000 they were already lost in the fuzzy blur that can result from too much champagne and jollity. But most of us will remember the sense of anticipation — perhaps even a little nervous trepidation — that marked our transition not just towards a new decade, nor just a new century, but into a new millennium.
The ‘Noughties’ is the name that has stuck for the decade but not only does a decade need a name it also needs a description. We have, for example, a clear vision of the 60s even if we were not even born then. The images of Carnaby Street, free love, The Beatles and Woodstock endure as reminders of halcyon days against which later decades are unfavourably compared. We reflect on the 80s, the Thatcher years, as an age of greed and self-interest. The ‘loads-a-money’ mindset, red braces, yuppies and conspicuous consumption as expressed by Porsche and Rolex. While the 70s passed by as an age of Glam Rock and flared trousers, interrupted from time to time by industrial unrest and football hooligans. The 90s managed to eschew the trappings of superficial disposable income to reinvent ourselves as caring, green and touchy-feely nice people who constantly ‘empathised’ with those around us. Parodies? Of course. But like all parodies, with at least a grain of truth.
So how will people remember the Noughties? Egg commissioned the Social Issues Research Centre to look at the social trends and patterns of behaviour that would define the era. And importantly how these would impact the lives of those growing up in the first decade of the 21st Century.