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经济学人:英国青少年 中规中矩的背后究竟是什么?

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Britain Young people

英国的年轻人
The continent generation
节制的一代
Why young Britons have turned responsible
为什么英国年轻人变得有责任感了
“I hope I die before I get old”—so sang Roger Daltrey of The Who in 1965. A new concept was then sweeping Britain: the “teenager”. Liberated by high wages and new types of contraception, young people started a sexual and social revolution. Mods and rockers fought at the seaside. Now, it seems, the change they wrought is being undone. Despite the images of teenage looters beamed across the world during last year’s riots, young people in Britain are broadly, and increasingly, well-behaved. Unlike Mr Daltrey, they appear to want to get old before they die.
“我希望在正值青春时就死去”——1965年,谁人乐队主唱罗杰·达尔特瑞在一首歌里唱到。“青少年”这个新概念从此横扫英伦。薪资上涨及避孕方式多样化解放了年轻人,他们掀起了一场性革命及社会革命。摩登派青少年和摇滚歌手在海边群斗互殴。而现在,他们带来的变化似乎正在消弭。尽管去年各地发生的骚乱中出现过青少年趁机劫掠的现象,英国的年轻人大致上——并且越来越——表现得体。和达尔特瑞不同的是,他们想趁活着的时候成熟起来。

英国的年轻人.jpg

Youthful continence shows up in all manner of social indicators. In 1998 fully 71% of 16- to 24-year-olds admitted drinking in the previous week. In 2010 just 48% did. The decline in drug-taking is even sharper. Teenage pregnancies are down by a quarter since 1998, to the lowest level since 1969. School-truancy rates have fallen since 2007, along with levels of youthful criminality. Young people have even become more polite: according to the Offending, Crime and Justice Survey, people born between 1992 and 1996 are less frequently rude and noisy in public places than were previous cohorts at the same age.

各方面社会指数都体现了年轻人的节制。1998年,16-24岁的青少年中足足有71%的人承认前一周喝了酒。而2010年只有48%。吸毒人数甚至下降得更为明显。自1998年以来,青少年怀孕率减少了四分之一,达到自1969年以来的最低水平。逃学率自2007年以来也有所下降,青少年犯罪率也是如此。年轻人甚至还变得更加礼貌了:根据违法犯罪及司法调查,1992年至1996年出生的人在公共场所比前几代同龄人表现得更为礼貌和安静。
“It’s no longer all sex, drugs and rock and roll,” says Christian Kurtz, a vice president at Viacom, which runs MTV, a television network aimed mostly at young audiences. To attract viewers from the “millennial” generation, MTV has replaced the glamour-driven programmes of the past with grittier ones such as “Teen Mom”, which emphasises family and responsibility. Millennials in Britain and elsewhere want reality rather than fantasy, explains Mr Kurtz. This extends to what they buy: above all else, brands must appear to be “authentic” if they want to succeed, says Rodney Collins, a director at McCann, an advertising firm.
美国维亚康姆集团的副总裁克里斯丁·库尔兹说:“年轻人不再只关注性、毒品和摇滚”。MTV是维亚康姆集团旗下以年轻人为主要受众的电视网络。为了吸引“千禧年”一代,MTV撤下了过去夸张浮华的节目,换上了“年轻的妈咪”之类强调家庭和责任的更现实的节目。据库尔兹解释,英国及世界各地的千禧年一代追求现实而非玄幻。这一特点也体现在他们的购物习惯上:麦肯广告公司董事罗德尼·科林斯说,品牌想要成功,就必须看起来“真实可信”。
Whatever has happened to carefree youth? Public-health campaigns, better education and more hands-on parenting have no doubt had some effect. Some young people are probably staying inside watching television and playing video games instead of smoking behind the bike sheds. And Britain’s population is changing. The proportion of 15- to 24-year-olds who identify themselves as “white British” has fallen slightly in the past decade, to about 80%. Among the groups filling the gap are British Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, who are less likely to drink or take drugs than their white peers.
无忧无虑的青少年们究竟怎么了?各式公共健康运动的展开、教育水平的提高以及父母更多亲力亲为地指导,无疑都会对他们形成一定影响。许多年轻人也许正待在家里看电视或者玩电子游戏,而不是躲在车棚里抽烟。同时,英国的人口也在发生变化。过去十年里,15-24岁的 “白种英国人”占总人口的80%,比例有些许下滑。其余20%的人群包括巴基斯坦裔英国人及孟加拉裔英国人,他们酗酒和吸毒的可能性比同龄白种人低。
Just as important, young people have less money with which to indulge their hedonistic instincts (see article). Far fewer young people work than did ten years ago, because of the economic slump and the expansion of higher education. Many more of them live with their parents. Even those who do have jobs tend to earn less than they used to. Between 1997 and 2011 the average weekly wage earned by 18- to 21-year-olds declined by one-tenth in real terms. It is considerably harder to be rebellious if you have no money and live in your childhood bedroom.
另一个重要的因素是,年轻人手里的积蓄变少了,也没办法放纵自己的享乐本能。受经济衰退和高等教育扩招影响,现在的年轻人就业率与十年前的相比下降了许多。还有更多人与父母住在一起。即便是有工作的人,赚的也比以前少了。扣除物价因素,1997年至2011年间,18-21岁年轻人的周平均工资下降了十分之一。如果你没钱而且还住在儿时住过的卧室里,想要叛逆真是难上加难。
Perhaps most interesting is what has not happened. The collapse in marriage rates and the rise of single-parenthood, both of which continued well into the 1990s when today’s young adults were born, might have been expected to unleash a wave of social problems. As it turns out, if there has been an effect, it has been outweighed by bigger, more benevolent forces. For politicians worried about the breakdown of the traditional family model, that ought to be reassuring. For rock music fans, it may be less so.
也许没发生的事才是最有趣的事。结婚率骤降和单身父母率攀升的现象一直持续到这一代年轻人出生的20世纪90年代,据估计,这本来会引发一系列社会问题。然而结果是,一些更强大、更有益的力量消融了这种影响——如果的确造成了什么影响的话。对那些担心传统家庭结构解体的政客们来说,这是令人欣慰的结果。而对摇滚音乐爱好者来说,就没这么乐观了。翻译:陈莎莎

译文属译生译世

重点单词   查看全部解释    
identify [ai'dentifai]

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vt. 识别,认明,鉴定
vi. 认同,感同身

 
unleash ['ʌn'li:ʃ]

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v. 解开 ... 的皮带,解除 ... 的束缚,解放

联想记忆
band [bænd]

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n. 带,箍,波段
n. 队,一群,乐队

 
fantasy ['fæntəsi]

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n. 幻想
v. 幻想

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rude [ru:d]

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adj. 粗鲁的,无礼的
adj. 粗糙

 
previous ['pri:vjəs]

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adj. 在 ... 之前,先,前,以前的

联想记忆
network ['netwə:k]

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n. 网络,网状物,网状系统
vt. (

 
adolescent [.ædə'lesnt]

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adj. 青春期的,青少年的
n. 青少年

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loutish ['lautiʃ]

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adj. 粗野的,无礼的

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survey [sə:'vei]

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v. 调查,检查,测量,勘定,纵览,环视
n.

 

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