Long Live the Cowboy?

This article originally appeared in the February 2016 print edition.

by Dominique Flores

The Lone Star State has symbolized the independence Texas built its ideals over since is seperation from Mexico. Cowboys, Generation X perservationists, began Texas’s individualistic culture based on agricultural functionality. Native Texans, that is, based their economics on the practice of farming, in which deligence is the state’s security.  An attitude for self reliance and a preference for minimal government intrusion is the result: “The primary function of government is to ensure the stability of a society so that individuals can pursue their own interests,” adds one author of Government and Politics of the Lone Star State.

Subsequent Generation Y, actively referred to as Millennials, are the youth that has been coming into adulthood since 2000. Millennials are new wave individuals who employ their smartphones, along with other advancing technologyies, as a shortcut in their bussinesses. What is becomming of the Texas Cowboy? Is he still dominating Texas’s practice of self reliance and efficency, or is the Millennial reshaping the state’s utilitarian values?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there has been around a 9.2% increase in the Texas population from April 2010 to July 2015. A staggering 80% of these Texans reside in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin metropolitan areas alone. Furthermore, the 2010 census concluded the Texan median age to be 33.6. Roughly 6,285,610 Texans are currently between the ages of 6 to 39, which is the bracket considered to be the Millennials. While Texans have historically dedicated their pride and individualism to the strong, eminent cowboy, it is clear the flexibly innovative Millennials are vastly urbanizing the state. Millennials are surpassing the Texas creator, and will continue to influence the state’s production and needs.

Texas’s growing population has surfaced enviornmental problems the Cowboy isn’t familiar with: sufficient water supplies and burning-hot summers, aside from the evident crowded and air-polluted roads, are a major threat to the state. A 2014 survey conducted by NPR concluded 34% of Millennials identify as enviornmentalists and are more inclined to favor urbanization-related policies. Moreover, an article pulsihed by Forbes Magazine revealed upcoming businesses, such as REI, are implementing Holacracy, a management distribution system in which “power” is divided among clear roles. It’s likely the Millennials who are the CEOs of such companies are responsible for progressive power share that balance urbanization needs.

Statistical population aside, what’s the upshot? Who really are these Millennials and how are they going to transcend Texas as they replace the Texas cowboy? Millennials are shown to attempt utilitarian products and services; they value advantageous brands and technologies. Similar to entrepreneurs, almost half of the Millennial population are content creators and users, as reported by Millennial Marketing. Whether he is a 32 year-old part time app developer and full time father who works on the 5th floor of the Frost Tower, or she is a 21 year-old hipster majoring in biology at Texas A&M International University who prefers to spend nights at Gallery 201’s poetry slam readings, the Millennial is similar to the cowboy: independent and self reliant. Millennials essentially pursue the task of visualizing, implementing, and practicing business through contemporary technique. It seems the cowboy’s farming and ranch maintenance skills are no longer suitable to the effects of urbanization in Texas. The irony of the cowboy’s death –Is Texas’s God dead?—is the interest it brings the beginning of its new creator. Is the new city-builder, go-getter strong and individualistic too? Polls and statistics are supporting evidence that the Millennial, in fact, draws from cowboy ideals. Urban principles have a commonality in the identity of the Texas Millennial.


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