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June 14, 2013
Harry Potter

Harry Potter

In a brand new study from the University of Vermont, the Harry Potter generation demonstrated that the fantasy world of wizardry at Hogwarts may very likely have had more of an impression on them than first meets the eye.

The new book by a political science professor at the university Harry Potter and the Milldnnials: Research Methods and the Politics of the Muggle Generation (John Hopkins University Press, 2013) studies some of the sociological and political views and beliefs of the readers of the seven-book series and viewers of the movie franchise who are part of the Millennial Generation (1982-2002).

Book on Millennial Generation

Book on Millennial Generation

Based on the findings in the book, these Potter fans tend to be more open to the ideas and theories of diversity. They tend to be significantly less authoritarian and more politically tolerant. They are much less likely to be supportive of deadly force or torture and more concerned with the rights of political captives. They are also more politically active and about 60 percent of those who read the entire series of seven books, claimed to have voted for Obama in 2008 while 83 percent of them said they viewed the Bush Administration unfavorably.

The bigger message I find here is when we consider the depth of the responsibility we have as writers – not because we are important people, but because of the level of importance our words have in forming opinions and developing things as significant as belief systems and attitudes toward society and the world we live in. How likely is it that JK Rowling considered the impact her imagination put to words would have on the attitudes of a generation of young people thousands of miles away on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean? I doubt that when she brought Harry and Ron and the crew to life, she had any idea that she would help open the minds and attitudes of an entire generation of Americans toward diversity and political tolerance.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – our words are extremely powerful ammunition that is available to each and every one of us. What we say, how we chose to say it, when we choose to say and who we opt to say it to, all impact much more than we realize. Whether we write for a living or just use our words with the people we come into contact with on a day-by-day basis, the impact of our words reaches way beyond the limits we set in our minds.

It is very important that we act responsibly and take the time to learn how to use our words carefully, being more considerate to those we share our words with and the impact our words have.

If Hogwarts and Harry Potter can significantly impact the way a generation of people react to the world they live in, how much weight does it stand to reason saying “I love you” has on the people closest to us?

We can all do better in all our lives with all the people who mean most to us if we take the time to realize just how important our words are. Lets commit to keeping that more in the forefront of our thoughts at least for the next few days and see what happens.


I’m a licensed clinical social worker and have worked extensively as a counselor with children, adolescents, couples and families. I combine professional experience in the mental health field along with my love of writing to provide insight into real-life experiences and relationships. I hope my down-to-earth approach to living a happier, more meaningful life is easy to understand and just as easy to start implementing right away for positive results!

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