Coasting is another of those attributes at the core of the kick-back against society’s dominant narrative of success through material wealth and acquisition. By and large, those who espouse this attribute also reject many of the attributes connected with that narrative – Showhome, Aspiration, Image, Visible Success, etc.
A slight deviation from that pattern is the relatively small number of Prospector espousers (1 in 5 of all espousers). Rather more female, their Coasting is based on the almost complete satisfaction of their security and status needs.
Outside of that minority, there are two clear motivational clouds behind Coasting.
The first – Settler – says “What’s the point in trying? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer – and Heaven help anyone in between”. As long as their “betters” keep a lid on crime, terrorism and so on, they won’t lose any sleep. They’ll just amble along from day to day – getting by. They will silently despise and be disgusted by the “suits” strutting down the streets or driving by in their Rollers, Porsches, Range Rovers, BMWs and the like.
These are the people who “know for a fact” that none of the political parties stands for their interests – that the politicians are more interested in lining their own pockets than democratically representing their constituents – and they know it so well that they simply cannot be bothered to do anything about it.
The second cloud – Pioneer – is similarly sceptical and antipathetic to “the powerful” in society. They share the contempt for the suits. What angers them – sticks in their craw – is the lack of empathy they see around them. If only people could take the time to understand each other – near and far – and open their eyes to the unjustifiable inequalities of the world, there might be more forgiveness and a lot less conflict – maybe even without the intervention of Tony Blair Inc.
The result of this perspective is that what society regards as “normal” they see as dog-eat-dog. It really makes their skin crawl – the lack of compassion, the inability to appreciate natural beauty, and a blatant disregard for nature in the pursuit of material gain.
Yet even this group, with its anger to drive it, has lapsed into a degree of complacency – a feeling that things aren’t going to change, because turkeys don’t and won’t vote for Christmas. They do not see any real possibility that those in power will go any further than they must to help the less well off, the vulnerable or (particularly) the natural environment – and the measure of how far is simply how much it takes to avoid social disruption that might affect the “turkeys” themselves – their wealth and the system which “creates” that for them.
Coasting is more prevelant in the over 45 age groups. These are most certainly not “Thatcher’s children”. The majority of them will have had some experience of, or have been brought up in a family environment preceding the time when greed became “good” – as immortalised in the words of Michael Douglas in the 1987 film “Wall Street”.
Coasting espousers in the younger age groups – the under 45s – are dominantly Pioneers, so share the bulk of the description for the second cloud. However, they have never known a time when the narrative was not free-market, trickle-down economics. Still, they have seen with their own eyes that this is the stuff of smoke and mirrors. The result is that their complacency is even deeper, yet their optimism about life in general is higher – they’ll get by despite the system not because of it. These are the young people who do not vote. They have little knowledge of, and even less interest in politics. They have never known even the sham of democracy – only a shadowy plutocracy.
Make no mistake, Coasting is not about “don’t care, won’t try” – it’s about caring very deeply but, one way or another, despairing that any effort to change the status quo is wasted from the outset. This is a very modern malaise – and one that will cost everyone very dear in the 21st century.
1) Over-indexed: Over 45, slightly Female, down-market.
2) Under-indexed: 15-34, slightly Male, slightly up-market.
Coasting espousers also espouse other Attributes. The top six most highly correlated Attributes of Coasting espousers are, in order of the strength of relationship:
1) Car Casual
In total those who espouse Coasting also over-index significantly on 31 other Attributes.
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