• Arthur Asa Berger


In this chapter, we find a quotation from the novelist Robert Musil about people’s life trajectories. He suggests that people often find themselves stuck like flies on what we might call the “flypaper of life,” with little chance of changing themselves. This notion contrasts with the American notion that we can always change ourselves and have a sense of infinite possibility. The chapter explores the impact that the eighty million Millennials have on American society and culture. It considers the curious fact that Millennials do not feel guilty about viewing pirated copies of films. Why is this the case? This leads to a discussion of the ideas of Michel Foucault about how social change occurs. He argues that social change occurs when the codes that have traditionally shaped our behavior come into conflict with scientific and other theories, which leads to modifications and changes in the basic codes. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how Millennials, with their different codes from other generations, will shape American culture.


Musil Codes Foucault Piracy 


  1. Cashmore, Ellis, and Chris Rojek, eds. 1999. Dictionary of Cultural Theorists. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Foucault, Michel. 1973. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. New York: Vintage.Google Scholar
  3. Musil, Robert. 1965. The Man Without Qualities. New York: Capricorn Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arthur Asa Berger
    • 1
  1. 1.San Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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