The “snowflakes” of modern society: a qualitative investigation of female university students' anxiety about adulting
journal contributionposted on 2023-03-13, 15:42 authored by A Talbot, M O'Reilly, N Dogra
Purpose: The paper aims to explore the anxiety of university students. The authors note that the rhetoric of the snowflake is frequently invoked in lay discourse to characterise a generation of young people as overly sensitive. This misleading conceptualisation is potentially stigmatising. Design/methodology/approach: Interviews were conducted with tweleve young women (18–25 years) about anxiety during their transition through university and into adulthood. Findings: The authors identified three themes: (1) students in a modern world, (2) gendered demands and (3) anxiety of adulting. Analysis demonstrated numerous, transecting and discourse-informed anxieties about modern life. Practical implications: University professionals may benefit from understanding the gendered dimensions of anxiety associated with transitions to adulthood, including the increased pressures to succeed and achieve. Originality/value: The arguably pejorative label of “snowflake” could negatively impact the social progress made in recognising the importance of taking care of mental health and help-seeking. This is especially concerning for females, as they have higher prevalence of anxiety conditions than males.