Reporter 435, 26 April 1999


Heavenly Headingley found

Headingley residents chasing a 'quick-fix' to life's problems are highlighted in a University study as defining a new generation of twenty and thirty-somethings.

Geography researcher David Clarke spent two years studying young LS6 residents and found they were more interested in getting by than getting on. They were also willing to accept high levels of crime as a "necessary cost of living in a vibrant neighbourhood". Dr Clarke suggests the results show 'belonging' to a place is no longer simply the opposite of 'being on the move'; an area may appeal precisely because of its transient nature.

The ESRC-funded study shows those residents with career jobs who aspire to be successful both work and play hard. "For them time is precious and therefore life needs to be lived to the full," said Dr Clarke. Those without career jobs also viewed the present as more important than an uncertain future he added.

The report suggests that life appears a 'risky business' to young people, meaning they find a 'quick-fix' more attractive. "The ultimate 'instant solution' to life's problems, the National Lottery, plays a far more important role in people's imaginations than does making contributions to a pension scheme, for example," said Dr Clarke. "The use of 'recreational' drugs guarantees an instant good night out, the right designer label or taste in music can procure instant peer approval with minimum effort."

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