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The Baby Boomer Homepage is your source for trends, research, comment and discussion of the generation from 1946 - 1964. Includes bulletin boards, chat, Sixties and Seventies music, culture, health and coverage of issues for Boomers  

The Baby Boomer Generation is a source for trends, research, comment and discussion of and by people born from 1946 - 1964.

Covering issues on the Boomer Generation including original content for Boomers, bulletin boards, user comments, Sixties and Seventies music, Baby Boomer culture, health and coverage of issues for "Aging Hipsters."
January 24, 2005

My Turn

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My Turn
Monday, January 24, 2005

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For nearly 10 years now, I've answered every e-mail that asked "what are the Boomer years?" I actually got so annoyed with the question, I put the answer in the masthead.

Now it's my turn. What years comprise the Generation X (Gen-X)?

Finally, what characteristics are common to the generation? Inquiring Boomer minds want to know.



Originally posted by Pete at February 22, 2003 01:09 PM


Previous Comments

Pete: In my opinion, the "60's" were pretty much over by 1973, therefore, anyone who was past college age in 1973 would no longer be a "boomer" assuming, of course, that you equate being a "boomer" with having been (potentially) significantly influenced by the sixties consciousness (as I was--what little I can remember of it!). As you may recall, by the mid seventies the Vietnam war was over, and Disco (yucch!--and the mentality and change of drugs of choice that accompanied it, i.e., from hallucinogenics to 'ludes and cocaine) was really big, genital herpes was discovered and beginning to throw a wet blanket on the popularity of "free love", and many of the more mature hipsters were beginning to lose sight of what to believe in, and were beginning to sadly realize that they (we) had not really changed the world to a degree that was anywhere near as significant as had been expected.

What's your feedback on this? (you can e-mail me throught the link at the bottom of my homepage listed above)

Lou Razzano

Posted by: Lou Razzano on February 28, 2003 12:42 PM

i am actually doing a speech on the effects of employment shortages due to the upcoming baby boomer wave of retirements, and i have found out that boomers were born between 1946- 1964. Generation X were born between 1964- 1980, and Generation Y were born between 1981-1999. So now my question is, what generation are we in now?

Posted by: jewell on February 28, 2003 05:11 PM

OH, I see how it's going to be... I ask the questions and you guys just ask more?

There seems to be a fascination with pegging generations. The long-running debate over the dates proves it and I'm glad to see the comments above go beyond this.

Frankly, I think you just pick a generation and make yourself a member. If certain Gen-Xrs feel closer to Boomers, by all means, be a Boomer... or visa-versa. I think Lou defines it correctly by picking events rather than dates to define a generation.

For me, the horrible reality of actually working was my defining moment. My first corporate job was a stark contrast to the life I had been leading. Sell-out? Yeah, probably.

Posted by: Pete on March 1, 2003 11:07 AM

The actual birth dates for generation x are 1965 to 1980. Many will tell you it's the years 1961 to 1981. But that is not acurate. Those born in the 1961 to 1964 period belong to the tail end of the baby boom as there were still over 4 million US births in each of those years. 1965 marked the first year the number of births in the US fell below the 4 million mark. With each continuing year the number of births fell. 1965 to 1969 the average was about 3.8 million births per year. 1970 to 1975 averaged about 3.2 million births per year. The baby bust of reached it's lowest point 1976 to 1980 when the average number of births droped below 3 million.

The birth rate started to climb again 1981. For a short period in the late 80's and early 90's births again rose above the 4 million mark, the so called Baby Boomlets. Generation Y began in 1981 and ended at the turn of the century.

Posted by: Joe X-1976 on April 23, 2003 12:23 AM

...k...someone developed some kind of a time line... but...ummm...I'm still a bit confused..I still don't know if I am a generation X child or generation Y...born in 1980..I feel..well...honestly...I feel torn between the two.....but what I really want to figure out....is...what is going to happen to all those unfilled jobs...considering that there were 4 million baby boommers... and only...well according to these postings...only 3 million boomlets/boomettes ...or whatever we are called...?

Posted by: PamXY?1980 on April 30, 2003 01:45 PM

if the baby boomer generation is about a boom in baby births, and gen x is about a decline (or below the average), than what does gen y represent? does it represent the 2nd baby boom, what you call the boomlet? I'm unclear, as the way i read your description, the boomlet is an anomaly of that period...

Posted by: tom on June 9, 2003 10:45 AM


Posted on January 24, 2005 10:25 AM


Print (?)


Comments

I was born in 1964. When I was growing up, references in the media to the Baby Boomers never extended to 1964. Now thirty something years later, suddenly the Baby Boom generation has been revised and everyone quotes 1946 to 1964 as established fact. Has anyone looked at the statistics because the way we are retroactively defining baby boom is not the way I heard about it growing up. Before the term "Gen X" was created (a derisive term at that), 1963 and 1964 birthdates were excluded explicitly from the Baby boom definition. Obviously its a meaningless designation.

Posted by: AGM on July 8, 2003 10:33 PM

Pam: I, too, was born in 1980. We're "Carter Babies"; babies born under the Carter Administration. Generation Y, Millennials, whatever you want to call them, were born under Reagan and through the end of Clinton's second term (1981-2000). Joe X is right: birthrates did not really pick up until Reagan took office. Remember, the contraceptive-cokehead-disco-party-days didn't end until the early 80's. (no offense to you Boomers who liked disco.) ;-)

Things that separate late-wave Xers from first-wave Yers:

1. There were no minivans (we rode around in station wagons)
2. No Baby-On-Board decals
3. No camcorder taping our lives since birth
4. We were teenagers before the Internet became popular (although, you remember dialing into BBS' and 'gophering' instead of browsing)
5. You remember life before personal computers, because your family didn't even own one until the late 80's or early 90's (and your teachers would ask if you had a computer at home)
6. You were a teenager when grunge was popular in the early 90's
7. You didn't have a cell phone in high school (and thought the idea of one was lame)

Those are just a few examples. I noticed, just before I graduated in 98, that kids just a year or two below us seniors were a different breed. Just completely different; they had cell phones, cared about fashion, seemed less drug-prone, etc. I can't explain it; all I know is, I'm not one of them.

Posted by: Brendan on July 23, 2003 6:45 PM

I am responding to a post by Brendan. I agree with all of those things that you said. Although most of the research I've done tells me that I am a part of Gen Y (I was born in 1978, by the way), I can honestly say that I had almost nothing in common with people who were just a few years younger than me. I mean, I didn't get a cell phone until I was in college and my parents still thought it to be absurd.

Anyway, I am glad to see that I am not the only one who feels this way! Great post.

Posted by: 1978 is DEFINATELY GEN X on July 25, 2003 4:17 PM

I'm currently working on a paper about generations. I know, pointless, but I'll point you all to the link when it's complete (nearly complete now). What guys like Strauss and Howe (authors of "Generations" and "Millennials Rising") call a generation is actually an archetype. Their problem is, they don't distinguish the two.

An archetype is a group of generations bound together by common events. Folks born between 1965 and 1981 are in the 'Nomad' archetype, or Wanderers. the Nomad archetype actually consists of two distinct generations: X and Y. Generation Y isn't what the media thinks it is, it's those born between 1975 and 1981, the "Seven Year Itch" as I call it in my paper. Generation X are those born between 1965 and 1974; a perfect ten-year generation. There are many things which separate the two, but we're both in the same Nomad archetype. Also, birthrates are a myth; the "Baby Bust" didn't end until 1989, according to the US Census (when birthrates again hit 4 million per year.)

A few things which separate Millennials from Gen Y (us) are:

Baby On Board signs: 1982
Morning In America: 1982
Invention of Minivan: 1983
High school graduation: 2000 and beyond (Yers graduated 1999 and prior)

Those I mentioned above and in the prior post are just a few things which separate the Nomad archetype from the Artist archetype, which the Millennials belong to (the second generation in the Artist archetype would be your "New Silents" or "Generation Z", born 1991-2000.)

Of course, all of this adheres to a ten-year generation theory, instead of the traditional 18-21 year theory. Generation Y is the exception, at seven years. This includes an interesting new cohort derrived by late Boomers, which they call "Generation Jones", or those born between 1955 and 1964 (http://generationjones.com puts it as 1954 to 1965; too long, in my opinion.)

Posted by: Brendan on July 28, 2003 3:37 PM

Oops, one mistake: Millennials and New Silents are the 'Hero' archetype (Artist is after Hero). :-)

Posted by: Brendan on July 28, 2003 4:53 PM

Going back to Jewell's comment, the labor shortage we anticipate as the boomers approach traditional retirement age is only a guess and a part of a huge effect that boomers have been having throughout their life stages.

I say it is a guess because although we are approaching retirement age, most of us are in no way prepared financially to retire. Many others who may draw some kind of annuity benefit have no intention of kicking back and handing over the reigns.

Just as the population bulge drove an increase in consumption over the past several years, it may drive a boom in new business starts, mostly in services, late in this decade.

If medical advances continue to accelerate as they have been doing, we may find ourselves economically productive well into our 70s and even 80s.

I'm not sure enough research has been done on these possible outcomes. If the economic need and better health of boomers does create this kind of extension of careers, what does this do to various aspects of our workforce, business environments and social programs? If this happens we have to confront age discrimination, learn how tasks are approached differently by mature workers than young workers, what workplace changes are needed and how policies need to change to capitalize on this situation.

Posted by: Carter on August 8, 2003 11:51 AM

I am responding to AGM's comments. It drives me crazy that the baby boomers keep moving up the years that define baby boomers to include the oldest Generation Xers. They must do it to make themselves feel younger. They can't be in the age group of 45 - 60 it must really be 37 to 55. I was born in 1968 and my husband was born in 1966. I guarantee that 5 to 10 years from now we will be baby boomers too.

Posted by: Nancy on October 29, 2003 4:48 PM

I was born at the end of 1963. I really am a baby boomer, since my dad served in WWII, and my brother was born in 1947. But a few years back I clipped an article about 1963 being "left alone", with baby boomers up to 1962, and Generation X beginning in 1964! It was really funny. I've always felt in the middle. But it's true the dates just keep jumping around. If you put Generation X at 1963-1977 like some sites, I'm right in there with my stepdaughter! Oh well, whatever I am 40 here I come!

Posted by: Linda on November 11, 2003 2:45 AM

Some really good posts on this thread. Born in '64, I've always felt caught in the middle and have "seen it all" so to speak regarding pop culture. Now that I'm a parent, I've fully realized how complicated the world has become compared to my upbringing. Car seats, helmets, constant organized sports/activities, political correctness, this group's demands, that group's demands, agendas in public schools that precede academics. I don't know about life expectency, but I see people getting sicker and cracking up earlier. So damned many rules, micro-management and busy bodies.
I would like to comment on the so-called coming labor shortage theory. At first glance this would seem the case, but with outsourcing and out of control immigration (35mil in the last eight years,compare to 28 mil from 1880-1910!), automation and efficiency of production; coupled with an enormous generation getting screwed out of pensions and retirement while dealing with skyrocketing healthcare and other costs are getting to the point where they just can't retire (take a breath). All these factors are throwing the system out of whack. We will eventually have an imbalance where there are far more people than jobs available. I am not a xenophobe or parochial in thought (see? you can't say what you think without apologizing first), but just making observations like the elephant in the room nobody wants to talk about.

Posted by: Nick on November 19, 2003 10:33 PM

I'm right smack dabb in the middle of Gen-X-1972.
I do believe that Gen-X extends to 1977 rather than 1972 like Coupland stated in his book. I also think that the older the Gen-X the more they'll resemble the Baby Boomers, and the younger the Gen-X the more they'll resemble Gen-Y. I, myself, resemble the Baby Boomer generation more. In my experience people my age and older are the activists in our generation where are the younger Gen-X could care less. Just a thought.

Posted by: Steffie on November 24, 2003 5:19 AM

I have always thought that a baby boomer was someone whose father had served in World War 11 and was born between 1946 and 1965. My cousin was born in 1965 and his father served in World War 11.The people who did not have fathers who served in WW11, I would not considered a baby boomer , but people who were born in 1960 and up who had fathers that served in the Korea or Vietnam War I would considered Generation X and Y.

Posted by: Trudy on November 26, 2003 2:35 PM

I agree with Joe X because his statistics are right on the money. There was still a boom in births in America in the years 61-64. After that, there was a significant drop, and Gen X began. I was born in '62 and I share many of the same values as the older boomers and I enjoyed the music. I was very young, but I can remember hearing the Beatles, Doors, etc, when they were together and their hits were on the radio. And yet, I could identify with the punk rock movement when that happened and relate to the anger and alienation that was the polar opposite of much of the '60s music. I think it is safe to say the baby boom began in 1946 and ended in 1964. But I would consider the true "sixties generation" as the part of the boomer generation that was old enough to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, since the war was the main galvanizing force of the era. In other words, the "60s generation" was the part of the boomer generation that was born roughly from 1946 to about 1952 or 1953. Those people were the hippies, the Woodstock Nation, counterculture, and so on. Great topic!

Posted by: Dan on November 27, 2003 10:26 PM

I personally think that there is a sharp divide between people born in the mid 70s, up to say, 1977 and those born afterwards. Personally, I was born in 1976 and I am 27. I was chatting with some friends the other week...a few were born within a year of me...the others were born a bit later than that. We were discussing music we grew up listening to. I mentioned that my favorite group growing up was Depeche Mode. Then, this 25 year old friend of mine said with a straight face "Who?". There is only a 2 year difference, ut I felt so much older. It turned out that he (and as he claims, most of the people his own age), didn't really get into pop culture until the MC Hammer-Vanilla Ice-NKOTB era, which essentially was 1990 or so. Never felt such a generation gap as I felt that evening.

Posted by: Mike on November 29, 2003 2:20 PM

I'm a GenX born in late '63. Been suffering under totalitarian boomer rules my whole life. They definitely have been shifting the generation to youthenize themselves. I see that boomers now think they'll get to work until they die (since they couldn't "die before they got old"). It's a theory, and a pretty good one. However, I personally believe they'll be too much of a pain to work with relative to the immigrants (i.e. Diversity) and thus price themselves out of the market. I'd rather have them work, so I don't have to pay for their MedicAid in old-folks homes. Now we have good expensive drug support, to make them feel better while aging.
When will it end?

Posted by: GTN on December 5, 2003 7:22 PM

I am a baby boomer, born in February 1947. I want to make a comment to Nancy. The baby boomers are not moving up the date to make them feel younger! I fully disagree with the dates for baby boomers being born between 1946 to 1964. That is to long!!! I feel baby boomers were born the first five to six years after World War II. That is what seperates us from the rest. It does not include the Korean War or Vietnam. I was married when Vietnam occured. I also feel that only one child, the first child born after the war was a baby boomer - one child per family was a baby boomer. The men had been gone a long time and some even after the war was delayed. Almost all the men went, the only ones left were disabled or to old to go. My mother lived in the country with her mother while dad was gone and she said there was only two men left in the area close to them and they were very old.
Our differences in music, dress, beliefs, cars, or anything else doesn't make the difference. All generations have that, due to change in our living styles and progress.
Would someone tell me how they came up with these silly ideas and dates?
Pat

Posted by: Patricia on December 5, 2003 9:39 PM

Okay, I would have to agree with Steffie. I was born in 1978, which would technically be considered as late Gen X. But I don't have anything in common with Gen X. I had no worldly emotions or fashion statements in the 80s, I was too busy playing with toys. I came of age in the mid 90s and opened myself up to a lot events and such through that decade. I listened to gangsta rap music and went to raves...oh and I DID have a cell phone(a huge cell phone). An older gen Xer would not really be into that kind of thing...wouldn't you agree?
I guess I would be labeled an X-Yer. Lately I've been reading a lot about the 1977-1994 Gen Y period and found that to be a little more acurate. Some have other theories and some still believe that Gen X was from 1961-1980. If you look at it, Gen X is a small population compaired to the Boomers and Gen Y. My parents are boomers, so that makes me an "echo bommer" or Gen Y. Boomers are about 65-70 million; Gen X-about 45-50 million; and Gen Y over 70 million, close to 75 million. The birth rate dropped around 1965-66(X) and picked up again after 1976(Y). I believed the 61-80 time line and I always thought I was an Xer up until 1999 when my friend's older friend said I wasn't and Xer. I was really confused for a while, so decided to do some research and find out what I am. I have come to realize that I am a Yer.
Personally though, I think labeling generations and setting dates of birth to catagorize what generation a person's in is ridiculous, so I'll wait and see what else those demographers label me, eh?

Posted by: k‹ⁿgf‹_f™Ò on December 7, 2003 7:55 AM

It gets even worse than that. Baby boomers (72 million) are also split into 2 groups: core boomers and cuspers. The core boomers were born between 1946 - 1954. Their offspring are Gen X or "echo boomers". The cuspers were born between 1954 - 1964. They are a more youthful, more spirited baby boomer who are now parents of the more youthful market of Gen Y's. Gen X were born between 1965 - 1976 (17 million of them). Many are products of divorced or single parent families. That could be why they tend to marry later in life. They are not willing to sacrifice their personal life for the sake of employment oppts. They think of and treat each other as members of a family. They X'ers vowed that they'd never do what was done to them. They tend to be very family oriented and take their children everywhere. They are also financially savvy. They're willing to take risks, expect to be respected and want to do things on their time and terms. Gen Y's are in tune w/technology (there are 60 million of them). They were born between 1977 - 1994.

I want who's ever job it is making this stuff up. Must be nice.

Posted by: Jennifer on December 7, 2003 9:20 AM

I agree with "k‹ⁿgf‹_f™Ò". I too, was also born in 1978, and to be honest, I don't think that many people my age were really "into" the 80s when they ***actuallY*** occurred (although for some strange reason, they are now in the 00s). Perhaps ***very*** late in the decade we may have started to notice things, but pop culture was in a state of flux at that time (I always considered the 1990 time frame to be a "dead zone" pop-culture wise...except for the Simpsons). Anyway, few of us had any concept of nuclear war back then and we were probably the first cohort to have the internet ready and waiting by the time we became adults (the internet blossomed in 1995, when we were still only 17). Meanwhile, it seems that people just a couple of years older have a different taste of things. Mike from above was a perfetly good example. He was born in '76 yet his friend 2 years younger (presumably born in '78) had totally different pop culture references growing up.

Who else agrees with me that there seems to be a gap between mid and late 70s babies?

Posted by: Mark on December 8, 2003 9:29 PM

Wow...someone agrees with me? Thank you very much :ß Thank's Mark!
You see, we, as the "in between years of '77-'8? believe that We shouldn't be called the Xers...although some of us belive we are. That's what makes us unique. We are everyone and no one. We act young and we act old. Some of us have families of our own, some of us still want to party before 30. We feel that if we don't get the most ot of life now, we will fall out and lose out later. If you're picking up what I'm laying down...then you know that WE are a generational "gap". I'm not just saying US, but every generation gap in the past and even in the future. WE are the ones that set trends more efficiantly. Who knows...a generation gap may have started the bell bottom pants, or even the VW Bug craze. :? WE learn from our predessors' past and work it over to make it either cool for goofy in our perspective for the next generation to come. We make and spend more bling bling (money) than ever before. We sing, dance, perform, entertain. and touch lives to the point that we get dug up from that grave as a cult classic by future up-and-comers. We are the demention between young and old; new and used; in and out; life and death.
This part is more towards US. We started getting culturally advanced. WE see racism as more of a bad movie(Y) than a nightmare(X) and what's worse...a way of life(boomers and war babies) There are so many of us that are bi-racial or mixed in some way(yes me also). We were born in the dawn of personal computer, remote control television, and Atari game consoles. We started using computers in school for typing, educational programs, games, and when we were in our teens, the internet. We used this as a tool for our minds and now it's OUR way of life and our identity. We, in general, look at the current events of our planet as information, not as much horror, sadness, anger, and death. We think of ways to make it better for our future. We are split in two...a mixed stew pot full of different ingredients and flavours to influence the world years from now. We love to make money any way we can, whether a career in corperations or entertainment. I guess that's just my philosophy on us "in-betweeners" of this whole mess.
I felt compelled to go off on this matter because this is the only comment bord I could find and the fact that this is just so facinating yet frustrating topic of interest. :)

Let me know what you think...I'm open to whatever!

Posted by: k‹ⁿgf‹_f™Ò on December 11, 2003 3:14 AM

Right, Kung Fu Fan...although I personally think that 1977 is still Generation X. I can notice a strong generation gap among people literally months older than me. I can't put a finger on it, but it seems that they relate much more towards the 80s than people my age, and that they don't picture the Internet as a vital to their lives. I may be wrong...I am only sampling a small subset, but for some odd reason, 1977 cohorts seem to be true "children of the 80s", while it seems that people my age didn't wake up until 1989/1990, when the Vanilla Ice/NKOTB/MC Hammer era was underway. I think that 1978/1979 were more of a transition period.

Posted by: Mark on December 11, 2003 12:30 PM

I think the reason there has been so much confusion on where to draw the boundaries between Boomers and Xers is because there are actually three generations during the years traditionally used for these two generations. This is a partly a result of the acceleration of culture, which has led many generational experts to abandon the old 20-or-so-year definition of generations for a defintion these days that is around 10 to 15 years. I believe the correct birth years for these generations is as follows:

Baby Boomers--1942 to 1953
Generation Jones--1954 to 1965
Generation X--1966-1978

I'm seeing the above defintions used more and more frequently now in the literature on generations (although I've seen numerous experts vary a year or two on the edges of these boundaries). But certainly the Generation Jones concept has become more and more commonly used regardless of the exact birth years for each generation.

Posted by: Helen on December 11, 2003 7:47 PM

Maybe, Helen, I buy into the concept that a generation is now defined closer to 10-15 years, but I think most everyone agrees the start of the Baby Boom was clearly defined by returning GI's AFTER WWII. Your definition starting in 1942 doesn't make much sense.

Just for giggles, let's say the Boomer Generation starts in 1945. Using the high end of your shortened generational time frame (15 years) puts Boomers from 1945- 1960.

If we use the more accepted start of 1946, your formula puts Boomers from 1946-1961, which is only 3 years off the current 1946-64 definition.

Posted by: Pete on December 12, 2003 9:22 AM

Pete, I have to respectfully disagree with your assertion that "most everyone agrees the start of the Baby Boom was clearly defined by returning GI's AFTER WWII". If you study current generational thinking, you'll find most generation experts (as opposed to the uninformed, often lazy media) in recent years have redefined the start point of Boomers to the early 1940's. Howe and Strauss (who are perhaps the best known generation experts nationally) start the Boom at 1943, and many other experts start it in 1942, and in some cases even in 1941.

If the generation being defined was the WWII Generation, then it might be relevant what year those soldiers returned from the war. But what possible relevance to defining the Boomers does the return from the war signify?! Similarily, defining a generation by how many kids were born is asinine. No generation before or since the Boomers was defined by this factor of number born. Generations are based on the shared experiences that formed their collective personalities when their members were young. I have seen numerous demographers and generation experts ridicule this foolish old definition of the Baby Boom. The media, incidentally, is guilty for originally creating this myth: actual demographers originally only noted that there was a baby boom, ie. a lot of kids being born starting in the '40s, some members of the media then started referring to this boom in births as a generation, completely misusung the real definition of generation.

If you look at the actual personality traits of the people involved (ie. the real definition of generations), you'll see that there is a collective personality between people born starting in the early 40's. Time Magazine, for example, declared their 1966 Man of the Year as the "The Generation under 25", which would start that generation at 1942. When you look at some of the most famous examples of quintissential Boomers (e.g. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Morrison, Abby Hoffman, Jerry Rubin), you see that they were all born well before 1946. And the polling I've seen on this issue shows that people born in the early '40s clearly identify more with being Boomers than being part of the Silent Generation which they've long been mistakenly placed.

And by the way, in your example of starting a 15 year generation in 1946, the birth years would be 1946-1960, not 1961, although I'm not clear what the point of this example is.

Posted by: Helen on December 12, 2003 2:48 PM

We sort of have to look at the aspect of the generational labeling with the population in birth rates. After WWII, more people started having more babies. That Was from 1946 to 1965. Then we look at the "revolution" and Vietnam in the 60s, which cause a decline in about 1966. That went on through to the mid-70s. I agree with Pete. 1942 is an absured theory, being that the birth rate was put on hold for another four years. The same after Vietnam, when we were, again, at peace to have more children. That caused a "repeat" in the generational mix.

Posted by: k‹ⁿgf‹_f™Ò on December 12, 2003 7:42 PM

I agree with much of what k‹ⁿgf‹_fªÒ mentions, and it seems that there is somewhat of an abrupt difference between those born in the mid-70's vs those born in the late 70's and later. I also think, however, that a lot also depends on just exactly what experiences a person may have had during certain "transitional" periods (both personally and in terms of external events) as to where a person identifies themself. I was born in 1960, and it seems as if people my age and younger began a trend that became much more pronounced as the 1980's progressed in which a growing number of people were taking much longer to get through college than the normal 4 years. The ones who made it through "on time" in teh early eighties probably better identify with those that are a few years older; the ones like me who required two additional years and then continued through the 80's in a "wilderness" of sorts as they pursued graduate studies as well as the beginning of a professional career (which came much later than expected or desired and which the effects of the "delay" is something we're still recovering from) probably much more easily identify with the older members of "gen X" to a certain extent. This possible "arrested development" perhaps explains how I (a dumb white guy to boot) managed to somehow develop an acquired taste for rap music since the middle of the 1980's or so, in spite of my being somewhat "out of (age) range" for such an art form. On the other hand, I sometimes have to wonder if maybe there are more people my age (and race) than are willing to admit that have continued to listen to it, at least in the hopes that the various record labels will finally get the idea that, if they want hip hop to keep from destroying itself (you ought to read the comments Jay-Z made in Time magazine a few weeks ago), they had better start realizing that there is more than a 16-25 yr old age demographic that they should start paying better attention to.

Posted by: Giles on December 12, 2003 7:49 PM

I love this topic, it's so interesting, so here I go.

I was born in 1978, which would technically be considered as late Gen X. But I don't have anything in common with Gen X. I had no worldly emotions or fashion statements in the 80s, I was too busy playing with toys. I came of age in the mid 90s and opened myself up to a lot events and such through that decade. I listened to gangsta rap music and went to raves, and I still do. I started listening to techno music and rap since I was 8. I had an Atari when I was 6 and a Mac computer when I was 10...oh and I DID have a cell phone by high school age(a huge cell phone). An older gen Xer would not really be into that kind of thing...wouldn't you agree?
I guess I would be labeled an X-Yer. Lately I've been reading a lot about the 1977-1994 Gen Y period and found that to be a more acurate. Some have other theories and some still believe that Gen X was from 1961-1980. If you look at it, Gen X is a small population compaired to the Boomers and Gen Y. My parents are boomers, so that makes me an "echo bommer" or Gen Y. Boomers are about 65-70 million; Gen X-about 45-50 million; and Gen Y over 70 million, close to 75 million. The birth rate dropped around 1965-66(X) and picked up again after 1976(Y).
I believed the 61-80 time line and I always thought I was an Xer up until 1999 when my friend's older friend said I wasn't and Xer and that I didn't know how to be an Xer. I was like..."what the hell are you talking about?" I was really confused for a while, so decided to do some research and find out what I am. I'd have to say I agree with the guy, and that I have come to realize that I AM a Yer.
I'm a Yer, and glad to be one. I love my parents, and I have respect for others. I don't whine and complain about live and fully expect to see results. I have a very open mind about the world in more than just positive and negative.
We as '77-'80 babies are stuck in a gap. A gap where we have the option to believe if we're X or Y. That's what makes us unique.interesting.

Posted by: ßh@∫l!n M∫nk on December 12, 2003 8:33 PM

OOPS...sorry...my last message was posted on the wrong message board.....doh!!!
Disregard, unless you're new and just tuned in. Thanks

ßh@∫l!n M∫nk

Posted by: ßh@∫l!n M∫nk on December 12, 2003 8:39 PM

I'm curious to know how those here, who feel that birth rates are relevant to defining generations, would explain that relevance. I see no relevance whatsoever, and I believe it's true that very few actual experts believe that birth rates are a relevant factor. Of course, variables like birth rates are relevant to issues like determining, for example, future markets (e.g. by noticing that a lot of kids are being born during a certain time would be useful info for a diaper manufacturer). But re. determinig generations, what possible relevance could birth rates have? If we accept that generations are based on shared formative experiences, why would we need to look at how many kids were born? Is it that we should assume that the cultural/political/economic major events that shape a generation happen, by some sort of cosmic coincidence, to exactly fit the years of the ups and downs of birth rate charts?! Why is it that no generation before or since the Boomers was defined by birth rates in any way? Is it that the Baby Boom Generation should be determined by completely different rules than all other generations? Should we go back and look at birth rate charts and change the generational boundaries of other generations? Should we ignore the fact that the Lost Generation was based on a certain cynical and dissilusioned feeling among its members after WWI, and instead define that generation by the random factor of how many kids happened to be born during the early part of 20th Century? Why stop at birth rates? Maybe we should look at how many days it rained, or how many vanilla ice cream cones were sold. As for me, I'd rather just stick with the long-standing, tried and tested, theoretically and statistically proven definition of generations that has been used for many years and for many generations; and see the old definition of Boomers for what it is: a silly media-produced error which over the last few years has been fast losing its credibility as Baby Boomers are finally being defined by the same criteria as all other generations.

Posted by: Helen on December 13, 2003 4:56 PM

Gosh, Helen, so many questions. I give up. I guess my observations as well as my arithmatic skills are flawed once again. You are obviously an expert on this subject, so I'll just accept your logic and (if I may be so bold) jump on your bandwagon.

For starters, I like your assessment of the generational length, so much so, let's re-define the length of a generation to a maximum of say, two to three years. Since we can only use shared formative experiences, it only seems prudent to define them this way:


1942-1944 The "you look like the flat-footed mailman" generation
1945-1946 The "your dad got shot in the ass crossing the Rhine and came home early" generation
1947-1948 The "dad's home and he's healthy" generation
1949-1950 The "your mom was picky" generation
1951-1952 The "you want to try out the bomb shelter, dear" generation
1953-1954 The "when are you going to make us grandparents?" generation
1955-1956 The "You're named Nash because of a car seat" generation

We could further divide each of the new generations into sub-groups defined by the television shows they watched. (Those born prior to the advent of TV can substitute radio where necessary.) For instance, those born after April of 1952 could opt-into a sub-group called "I Love Lucy" but only of their parents let them stay up and watch.

Also, anyone born after 1953, could only qualify as a Baby Boomer by proving "first-born" status. Because as we all know, growing up with an evil sibling changes the experience considerably. It does not however, preclude them from the "Ed Sullivan Show" sub-group of that year. Note: Topo Gigio is NOT a special interest group of the Ed Sullivan sub-group... s'all right?

I am no longer hung up on birth rates, only the reason for birth... which is still a shared experience, but I'm having a hard time separating the concept from the conception.

Posted by: Pete on December 15, 2003 8:50 PM

Pete, I'm sorry that you were so affected by my posts that you felt the need to respond with that level of sarcasm and disrespect. I meant nothing personal against you, nor anyone else; I was posting my comments in the spirit of honest intellectual discourse.

I have long been interested in various generational issues, and this topic of whether the old definition of Baby Boomers is flawed (because it deviates from from the usual definition of generations by being based on birth rates) has come up quite a bit along the way. It is interesting to note that I have seen people respond the way you did more than once--with hostility or anger or sarcasm while not addressing any of the actual issues. I have assumed that this attacking posture is chosen as a way to avoid dealing with the issues, because it would be so difficult to actually defend the old "birth rate" definition of Boomers--it's certainly true that I've never seen anything remotely close to a cogent defense of that now outdated position. How about dropping the sarcasm, and actually trying to answer and discuss the numerous questions and points I raise in the above few posts?

Posted by: Helen on December 16, 2003 8:49 PM

OKay, this may seem typical, but.......can't we all just get along? I mean, yes, this is a very touchy subject to quite a few people, but it is REALLY nothing to get worked over about. It's all just the media trying to make an extra buck because they have nothing else better to do besides sitting around,looking at things in this society that define generations. What music you like, what clothes you wore, how you grew up, your political views, and so on. Like I mentioned earlier, it is all just so rediculous that we have to fight a silly battle that what is already confusing enough in this troubled society we live in. Boomers, Xers, Yers, moe, joe, schmoe, poe,..... We all live and we all die. We all have our beliefs and theories about life. We all have different personalities, no matter WHAT generation we "come" from. I think that this is too aggrivating. Generations, back in the day, were refered to mainly a family affair, not what kind of music people listened to, or what decade they were born. There needs to be a euphamism for "generation" because the word "generation", like the ever so popular and happy word "gay", have been blown waaaaay out of proportion.

Posted by: k‹ⁿgf‹_f™Ò on December 17, 2003 4:40 PM

Reply to Helen's comments on 12/13.

Great insight! The idea that 78 million people are moving in lockstep through time is should on its face be ludicrous.
Boomer is a term coined by Landon Jones used primarily by marketers. Jones, former managing editor of People magazine, introduced the term in his book, Great Expectations: Americans and the Baby Boom, in 1980 ˆ when the oldest boomer was 34! In a sense, the boomer generation was „invented‰ by a journalist years after the last boomer was born. as David Wolfe says in his latest book "Ageless Marketing" - "Calvin was right ˆ they don‚t name a generation until its members are real old ˆ at least 20."

Posted by: Jim on December 18, 2003 4:35 PM

First of all, I do not believe that generations are defined by birthrates. The "traditional" Baby Boom definition of 1946-1964 has been and still is the most popular, but let us look at this more closely:

If you were born in 1946, your childhood was in the sanitized white bread 50s, when any thought of rebellion was swept under the rug as fast as you can say "Howdy Doody". You graduated high school in the mid sixties, when the first signs of the counterculture were taking shape...and in most parts of the country were not even a thought. Racism and segregation were still rampant, and would continue throughout your college career. When you graduated college in '68, the country was in flux, rage of Vietnam was spreading, and the rest is history.

If you were born in the last Boom cohort of 1964, your childhood was shaped by the "free to be you and me" seventies. While you may have went to segregated schools early in grade school, the main part of the Civil Rights Movement was over by the time you were old enough to understand. Vietnam, including the fall of Saigon, was over by the time you reached puberty, and you graduated high school in 1982, the year of Fast Times at Ridgemont High. You did not graduate college until 1986, which was the height of Yuppiemania...not Hippiemania like the "leaders" of your generation. Meanwhile, you still have not reached 40 yet, while the '46 babies are staring at 60.

I think that the Boom generation should be split up into several pieces. I like the Generation "Jones" idea of people born from the mid-late 50s through the early-mid 60s...too old to be pure Boomers, but too young to be "Xers".

Now, while I agree to some extent that generations may be taken a bit too seriously, I think that there is some merit in this. One must agree that a young 20-something in 2003 is totally different in terms of upbringing, "coming of age", etc. from a young 20-something in 1990. Methods of teaching, supervising, etc. that worked with previous cohorts are no longer valid. Young people have much higher expectations of themselves, as well as you, than just a few years ago. While Xers of the past were and still are mistrustful of institutions, Yers today are more trustful, and have an optimistic view of the future. This may sound like something I picked up from a book, but it's true. I personally see totally different outlooks on life from people older than me than those younger.

That said, I think that 1977/1978 is a good boundary for Generations "X" and "Y". There is obviously a gray area, but I think that this is a good dividing point. Note that the "traditional" definition ends Gen "X" in 1976, so this actually isn't too far off the mark.

Posted by: Mark on December 19, 2003 12:43 PM

I was discusing this topic the other night with some friends and decided to seek out information on this topic. So here I ended up in my web search. I was born in 1971 and didn't think I was a gen Xer, and I know I am not a baby boomer. Now, my friend I was talking with was born in 1965. She is not in the baby boomer generation either and definately not a gen Xer. She feels that she is in the flower child generation. I have not seen any mention of the geration in the previous messages here. Does any one know if this is even a generation?. I believe this is the generation born to those that experienced the "60's". I sometimes feel lost between generations. And what of yuippies and prepppies or are those just considered fads? Please shed some light on this for me. Thank you.

Posted by: Stasia on December 19, 2003 2:12 PM

i also think the birth rate definition of boomers is ridiculous, and as a result the 46-64 defintion of boomers is wrong. i was born in 59 and no way am i a boomer or an xer. i very much relate to being a member of generation jones. ive never heard of this generation between the boomers and xers called the flower child generation but i have heard many times it referred to as generation jones.
the meaning of generation has not changed over time--there have been for centuries both meanings for it: a familial generation--you, your mother , and your grandmother are in three different familial generations; and cultural/historical generation--the beat generation, the lost generation, generation x, etc.--you are part of one of these cultural generations if you were born during certain period of years, you then grow up with certain cultural, political, economic experiences that give you similar attitudes, values as others born during the same years.
landon jones only coined the term boomer, the term baby boom generation had already been out there, so his role is relatively minor.

Posted by: sandy on December 20, 2003 12:52 PM

A little Off topic, I just want to wish everyone, all generations, a merry Christmas and happy 2004. I've grown to like this room and I hope we can all see eye to eye, so we can resolve this generational crisis once and for all. :) Be safe and sane these up coming holiday weeks. I will be in New Jersey til Jan. 5. Look forward to the posting wars when I return...j/k. Mark...once again, you're the man!

k‹ⁿgf‹_f™Ò

Posted by: k‹ⁿgf‹_f™Ò on December 21, 2003 3:39 AM

Helen's Dec. 13 post deserves serious attention in light of what psychologist Daniel Levinson said in his book The Seasons of a Man's Life about what makes a generation. His research indicated that in terms of a person's ability to identify with and relate to others as generational peers, a generation consists of people who are within 6 or 7 years of one‚s age; thus from a subjective perspective, the age span of a generation is 12 to 14 years.

Applying Levinson's thinking to the so-called boomer generation that spans 18 years, the oldest and youngest boomers fall into two separate generations. By Levinson's reasoning, babies born between 1946 (the year the first boomer was born) and 1952 had one foot in the so-called Silent Generation and the other in the Boomer Generation. Babies born between 1958 and 1964 (the year the last boomer was born) had one foot in the Boomer Generation and the other foot in the Generation X generation. Only people born between 1952 and 1958, numbering around 25 million ˆ not 78 million ˆ and accounting for only a third of boomers, had both feet in the Boomer Generation.

So, when people talk about marketing to "the aging boomer market," they are talking about an illusionary market. We ought not to forget that boomer is a marketing term borrowed by marketers from Landon Jones' 1981 book, Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom. Thus, boomers were not named as such until the oldest were 35 and the youngest were 17. So, it's not surprising that many boomers don't think of themselves as boomers, and even resent being called such. And for sure, few boomers born in the 1960s feel they belong to the same generation as boomers born in the 1940s.

Levinson defined generation from the individual's perspective, not a marketer's. When you apply that definition to the 18-year cohort called boomers a much different picture emerges of the cohort effects - historical experiences that influence people growing up together - shared by people born between 1946 and 1964. Leading edge boomers (b. 1946 - 1952) have a very different historical foundation for their values and views on life than trailing edge boomers (b. 1968 - 1964). Leading edge boomers have a clear memory of the JFK assassination, but trailing edge boomers don't. The youngest were not even born yet. By the time trailing edge boomers reached middle school, leading edge boomers had shaved off their beards, cut their hair, started wearing bras again and put away or thrown away their folk art jewelry to take their place in the establishment they formerly scorned.
Thanks Helen, for highlighting the definition problem of the word "generation."

Posted by: David on December 23, 2003 8:33 AM

I was born on October 31, 1978. Many of you on here want to label me as Generation Y. But to be perfectly honest with you, I feel much more a part of Generation X than Generation Y. My first memories of music were those of '80s music. I received my first 7-inch vinyl single in in 1983. I remembered watching the Challenger explode on TV. I remembered having an Atari 2600. I also remembered "telling turtle" on an ancient Apple IIe computer, and my teachers in elementary school telling me that computers would become a big part of my life in the future. I turned 13 just as grunge started to become popular. I remember how the AIDS epidemic scared me. I was a fan of Beavis & Butt-Head. I remembered watching O.J. Simpson's low-speed chase through the streets of Los Angeles. I remember the Oklahoma City bombing. I graduated from high school in 1997.

This is how I'd divide up the generations:

Silent Generation: 1929-1945
Baby Boomer: 1946-1964
Generation X: 1965-1981
Millennial: 1982-2000

As you can see, the above generations fit into either 17- or 19-year spans. Another reason I will advocate adding 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981 to the Generation X list is because everyone I've talked with in that age range seems to feel as though popular culture here in the new millennium has abandoned them. Everyone I've talked within that age range prefers '90s popular culture, and even '80s popular culture, over popular culture in the new millennium. Also, I can detect a major divide in the mentality of those born in 1981 and those born in 1982. For these reasons, I advocate making Generation X a 17-year window encompassing those born between 1965 and 1981.

- Generation Xer born in 1978

Posted by: DBR96 on December 23, 2003 9:54 AM

I was born in December of 1963 and completely consider myself a Gen-X, although I suppose most posters would say I'm a Gen-Jones, whatever. Many of the events that stick in the minds of Boomers and define them as a generation mean nothing to me. I remember when John Lennon got shot, I was in high school French class and my teacher was broken up about it. The response of myself and classmates? Who's John Lennon? I think that incident speaks volumes. I was in utero when Kennedy got capped, I did not make the disco scene because I was too young, and I didn't get to enjoy "free-love." I barely remember the 1960's. Besides, it seems improbable that I could be from the same generation as my boomer parents.

Posted by: Elle on December 24, 2003 9:31 PM

Elle, you are definitely NOT a boomer. Whether you are in Gen-"X" or Jones is still questionable. I think you are in "Jones" simply because your core teen years were in the late 70s to around 1980, which is a big difference from the 80s.

DBR96, you may feel like you're "X", but I think it has more to do than seeing the Challenger or having a vinyl single in 83. First of all, you're referring to the "turtle" on Apple IIe (which I fondly remember) from your elementary days. However, ask someone just a few years older, and they would probably talk about days when there were ***NO*** computers...at least computers in school. At least in terms of the time I was in school, computers were always there. The Internet too, marks a rather sharp divide, since it became popular while we were still in high school (late 95/early 96), while older cohorts did not have that experience until later on.

But other than technology, I think that the manner in which you were raised was important. A lot of people my age were shuttled back and forth to soccer practice, music lessons, etc. as kids...typical Gen-Y childhood, while their older siblings were just slacking off, doing nothing. There seemed to be a change in the ways of parenting after a certain juncture, and it seemed to affect my cohorts quite a bit, at least compared to those who are a few years older. Of course, there are also people my age who also fit the typical "X" description when they were younger, but I think that especially if there was an older sibling involved, the younger kid was more overly supervised and parented.

By the way, I think that the biggest divider between Generations "X" and "Y" is the Cold War. If you feared WWIII as a kid, you're almost certainly in "X". If not, you're in "Y".

Posted by: Mark on December 24, 2003 11:02 PM

OK Here's how I learned about it.
I sincerely feel that this is the correct formula.
My Explanation of this arguement will follow.


GI Generation ----- 1901-1924
Silent Generation - 1925-1945
Baby Boomer ------- 1946-1964
Generation X ------ 1965-1977
Generation Y ------ 1978-1994
Millenial --------- 1995- ???

GI Generation

You had to be 21 to get drafted into the world wars. Therefore, the last GI person is 1924.
1924 + 21 = 1945 The end of WW II.

GI = General Infantry = Soldier.

Silent Generation.

As part of a government operation, they were told not to speak !!

Seriously, it's because the GI generation set the standards for the entire world. The generation that followed was completely in awe. There was very little to top the generation that saved the world. The option chosen was to stay silent.

Baby Boomers

Births hit an extreme low during the great depression. After WW II was over, everybody decided it was a great time to start a family. Thus the next 18 years was an explosion in children born. The party ended when the 1st Baby Boomer had to goto college. Coincidence ?? You be the judge.

Generation X

This is supposed to be generation Thirteen. However, Douglas Copeland, a famous author, decided that it is called Generation X. He also dictated the years of 1965-1977. The best guess is that 1965 was the 1st year of less than 4 million births. Also, 1977 is kinda the turning point in births. A more sinister reason is that he wanted to piss off early Gen Y people by announcing that the opening of Star Wars is the cutoff. (lol).

Generation Y

Echo Boom, Mini Boomers, Baby Boomer Kids, you name it. This time period is when Baby Boomers had lots of children. 1994 is about the time that births peaked for this period. Sound familiar ??

Millenial

Why ?? It's for the new Millenium!! A single Millenium is 1000 years. We're now in the 2nd Millenia (3 if you're counting twice!!). How long will this generation last ?? Who knows! However, I'll bet that it'll be 20 years, or when births fall off a cliff. There should be fewer children in the future, now that Sex and the City is History.

It'll be a fun future! I'll have to testify before congress on why I did this web posting. Hopefully, they've developed a sense of humor.

If you're interested in history or the future, I'd suggest sending me an E-Mail today. This offer is especially good for cute and savvy women.

Doug Kahn

Generation X

1971 - Aries.

Posted by: Doug on January 9, 2004 10:41 PM

Silent Generation 1925-1941
Baby Boomers 1942-1953
Generation Jones 1954-1965
Generation X 1966-1980

There is clearly a generation between the Boomers and Xers.

Robbie. 1965 non Xer.

Posted by: Robbie on January 10, 2004 10:13 PM

It seems to me that technology has made pop culture become increasingly decentralized. Because of that, I think it will get harder and harder to classify a "generation" by their experiences and what they remember and like. Granted world events will remain similar, but music and other media might not. I tend have a problem with the Generation X classification even. There was no real big events that mold that age group together that I can think of. I think "generation" is a flexible term and means parents and their children, etc, regardless of the year either was born.

I think the age of your parents can determine as much as your age in relation to childhood memories and likes and therefore, what generation you relate to the most. I was born in early '81, but I'm the youngest of four children and my parents were born in '42 and '47. So I have boomer (and war baby) parents and grew up on their music and their likes, and also on a lot of 80s music due to my siblings. My year of birth kind of puts me between X and Y. I think people my age will end up being a whole lot closer to Gen X than Y as the years go on. Computers really did not come into my life in a big way until my High School years, where as most of the Gen Y group will have grown up with them completely. That changes a lot of things.

Posted by: Jennifer on January 16, 2004 8:26 PM

Boomer and Generation X clashes ahead -

As a Generation X member born Jan. 1963 I consider myself NOT part of the Baby Boom generation - which really is classified between 1940-1959 and is a large group which was fed "youth" media images while raised in a climate of fear during the early days of the Cold War.

Those of us born into Generation X - 1960-1980 - were those whom grew up in the shadows of the dominated culture of cynical boomers who had defined youth culture in the late 1960s, and 1970s. My childhood is the 1960s were bare memories... I do not remember where I was when JFK was murdered; I was a year old when the Beatles landed in America; and I was six when man landed on the moon. Does this make me a baby boomer?

Furthermore, I resent baby boomers constantly revising their generation's span into the 1960s - as if in full denial of their getting older. This generation - the baby boomers - had taken the best jobs, apartments, houses, etc., so much so, that most of us true Gen Xers, who were 20 something in the 1980s - couldn't find anything for ourselves! Now, we see boomers claiming that those born in '63-'64 are part of their group! Sure, like I was screaming for the "White Album" when I was six years old! Come on!

Times are changing, you boomers, and it is time that you realize that your generation is going to see white hair, and nursing homes in the near future and you'd better just give up the Botox, plastic surgery, and turtle necks to cover up the signs of aging. It's okay... We ALL GROW OLDER! And your generation is no different!

But, what do we see. Barbra Walters STILL ON TV. Larry King STILL ON TV. Diane Keaton acting like a 20-year old! Give it up... Time moves on and the 1960s are over!!!!

Generation X has a plate full of unresolved issues to deal with that the boomers, their parents and the WWII generation either created, or made far worse by ignoring them. We, those born after 1960, have a huge responsibility to the future of this planet and we INTEND to make things RIGHT by not focussing ALL our time to excess wealth building, and looking good because we think 30 years old is too old! Give it a break!

Generation X - those born in the 1960s and 1970s have much work to do and we could care less about a generation that rejected the "establishment" only to become the establishment who thinks old age will not come to them whatsoever.

Believe me... only a few years from now, you will not be able to avoid being 60+ years old and I am sure, by then, we all will be reading that the baby boomer generation is from 1946 to 1976 - to make the boomers feel better about themselves!

Posted by: Theodore on January 17, 2004 1:20 AM

On Generation X... there's more...

The Baby Boom generation began just as the Second World War was in full flux. Remember, the war was at war in 1939 to 1945, but America did not enter the war until 1942. Many of the front-line boomers who defined the mid-1960s were baby boomers born 1940 and afterwards... Joplin, Hendrix, Lennon, etc., and their movement - the "counterculture" movement was pre-dated in the mid-1950s by the so-called "Matures" or "Silent Generation" who are now our senior citizens.

1940 sees the start of the Baby Boom births - remember, babies were still being born "during" the Second War World - ok? It's not like people stopped having sex because the guns were flaring. What better time to make love than during a war?

Births started to pick up by 1943 and peaked right into the 1950s - when the bulk of the Baby Boom took place. This is the first TV generation raised on black and white pictures, variety shows, and cowboy films. The boom created a new mass media culture developed by marketers selling everything parents could buy for their growing families and continued through the 1950s until the election of John F. Kennedy as president in 1960, when births started to tail off.

Generation X - those born 1960 to 1980 (get it right please everyone) - is a very special generation that grew up as massive social changes began to take place at the same time technological change was taking place worldwide. Cultures travelled more easily throughout the world and televison and it's images developed a sophistication borne out of the clashes of the late 1960s.

As a 1963 birth, my conscious childhood took place in the 1970s - which defines most of Generation X - a time of serious television, social experiments, and childhood responsibilities. The 1970s was termed the "Golden Age of Rock" when music defined Generation X. The rebellion of the 1960s led to massive social change, and clash, while at the same time Baby Boomers who rejected the "establishment" as Hippies returned to short hair, fat ties, and colorful clothing by the mid-1970s. This came after the chaos of "free love" and dropping out of society failed with the beginning of the Watergate scandal (1972-74) and the end of the Vietnam War (1975).

I was 12 years old in 1975 and can remember the swing in attitudes throughout America. Does my age remember the radical change in television programming when the Brady Bunch and Partridge Family were cancelled in '74? This led to new shows reflected the Baby Boomers in 1975 - "Charlies' Angels" and "Starskey & Hutch", "The Night Stalker" "Love, American Style", "Happy Days", Saturday Night Live", etc. All these shows reflected the impact of mass marketing to youth in that time - the Baby Boomers.

Generation X came of age in the late 1970s and early 1980s - a critical time in America, with the turning against youth culture and the election of Reagan-Bush in 1980. I was 17-years old in 1980 and can remember the start of "Nightline" with the countdown of how many days Americans had been held hostage in Iran... Anyone remember Carter's presidency end at that time?

Generation X has been right behind the Baby Boom generation - which is why those born 1960-61-62-63-64-65-66 - are the front end of the Generation X population. Each year I read about some baby boomer claiming ANOTHER year of the 1960s as a "baby boom" year when the opposite is true. This is surely due to the fact most of the Baby Boom generation avoids any reference to AGE WHATSOEVER.

I consider that a denial of the natural laws of the universe. I find it disgusting to witness some Baby Boomer I see on television, wide-eyed, plastic surgeried to the hilt, jumping around like a 25-year old and claiming that reversing the aging process is more than possible. Give me a break! Never believe your own PR...

America is getting older - and Boomers are leading the pack. The fact that many boomers are avoiding this is a sign that sad times are ahead and shows how many boomers swallowed the "youth culture" media hype leaving not a drop behind!

The leading edge of Generation X turned 40 three years ago - all the children born in the 1960s will turn 40 by the year 2010. After 2010, the Gen Xers born in the 1970s will begin to turn 40 years old - which is still young! By 2020, those born in the 1980s will begin to turn 40. In Scriptural terms - the age of 40 is the age of full maturity - something that is missing in our "Baby Boomer" culture. The key word is "BABY".

Times are changing, and this world has REAL UNRESOLVED and EARTH-SHAKING problems to find solutions to - and faster than we know. I suggest all Generation Xers begin to plan on how problems can be solved using the least amount of BS that has been fed to the Baby Boom generation that had to "duck and cover" during the Cold War. The effect on the Boomers has been to give them a sense of "fear and helplessness" which they rebelled against in the late 1960s and early 1970s and which, for some Boomers, has led to a denial of living a life where we all know that aging is a part of human life and that it's OKAY to get older. That way, we won't have 77 million drugged up Baby Boomers wearing hip-hugging jeans, with high cheekbones, pumped up from loads of Viagra and Botox-infected faces in 2010-2030!

Generation X - UNITE!


Posted by: Theodore on January 17, 2004 4:08 AM

GENERATION X - PART III

The clash of generations is already among us as much of the Baby Boom generation continues to avoid the facts of life - AGING. Not ALL Boomers are obsessed with "looking" young - and Bless those Boomers who are honest enough to see those of their generation try to keep both ends of the candle burning at the same time; while knowing it is all an illusion!

I believe the year 2000 and our entry into the 21st century, combined with the events of September 11, 2001, caused a "ripple in time"; i.e., that Baby Boomers who for so long had to rebel against the establishment - came to the age 50 like the HAL 9000 computer - and couldn't jive hitting the half-century mark with "don't trust anyone over 30" - the mantra of the anti-establishment Baby Boomers.

Not all Boomers are in denial, but if one watched television these days - especially the news media - one will witness boomers all over spouting new looks as if they ARE the youth of today! What a shame to see Judy Woodruff of CNN in denial. Or Doctor Laura wearing those "hip" fashions. Meanwhile, boomer marketeers have Gen X mothers running around in commercial dusting the house to DEVO's tune of "Whip it"! Can you imagine anything more sick than this sight?!

Boomers have had no clue what to think of Generation X since most Baby Boomers rejected many a Gen Xer from apprenticeship positions in the 1980s, all the while taking nearly every available job pre-Internet.

Then, just when Gen X was getting going in the mid-1990s as dot.com technologies were taking off - in comes billions of dollars, and Boomers wearing our fashions (you know, knit sweaters over white T-shirts) and acting like our friends in leading the charge into the new century while ripping off billions from new companies and being ripped off by other Boomers - all in an attempt to be a millionaire.

Look at the result - millions of jobs lost and many Gen Xers struggling to make it for the FIRST TIME while news media shows more and more Boomers being hauled away for corporate theft after trillions go missing!

It is very, very hard for man Gen Xers to feel compassion for Baby Boomers - because all our lives we've witnessed this generation whine and cry about this and that - while we have had to wait for all the "peace and justice" promised by these very Boomers since the late 1960s! What do we see now in 2004?

A time is coming when most Baby Boomers will be reviled for the wasted time while the world in this new century continues to suffer from the ills of the 20th century - poverty, environmental distruction, terrorism, secret deals, massive economic theft, waste, etc., all the while having to watch many Baby Boomers waste their time (and our time & energy) trying to re-capture youth.

Why do Baby Boomers want to be so young when they appear to hate the young alive today? Why can't these Baby Boomers leave 20,30, and 40-year olds to enjoy THEIR TIME? I find it very strange to witness an entire "hip" generation who take jobs away from younger age groups. Did you know that over 25 million boomers have re-entered the job market? Yet, for all the talk about "youth" there sure isn't the concern for the YOUNG OF TODAY, is there?

I suggest Baby Boomers remember when they WERE 20,30, or even 40 and LET the current youth of these times BE YOUNG. Like Gen X used to say back in the day - "Act your age... not your shoe size".

Posted by: Theodore on January 17, 2004 4:47 AM

Gen X - Part IV

Just so it does not appear I hate Baby Boomers, I've added this section... For one, some in the Boomer generation have had a positive impact on society by highlighting the ills of 1960s-1970s Establishment Society... the racism, the evironmental destruction, poverty, media lies, violence, massive economic theft, crime...

However, the Baby Boom Generation has lost its way... Look at the FEAR being engendered by this generation! FEAR, FEAR, FEAR! Everywhere you turn! What a mess! On top of this, I believe that most - not all - but most of the Boomer generation have become what they feared most - SELL-OUTS! The news media matras, the lies, the refusal to even question THEIR OWN ESTABLISHMENT WHEN THEY VIOLENTLY QUESTIONED THE 1960S & 1970S ESTABLISHMENT TO THE HILT!

The rebellion among youth of today is a sign of more to come, I believe. The hypocrisy of failing to question one's own establishment with a history of questioning previous ones is a SIN sure to bite the Boomer generation right on the ass - and more than once!

Generation X has issue with Boomers that must be addressed and the longer it takes to do so the worse it is going to be for Boomers in the long run. For it is Gen X that will have to be the ones protecting the Boomer generation in their senior years... Think about it... In the future, when Boomers are the elderly population - tens of millions strong - they will have to be protected against crimes against the elderly; which will grow due to the huge influx of aging Boomers in America.

Crimes against the elderly is a serious matter and Boomers have to be prepared to have home health aids to assist them in daily life. I know many Boomers who want to avoid nursing homes at all costs, and I don't blame them. But, since the problems of the world have to be tackled and millions of new workers trained - many Gen Xers, delayed for so long by millions of Boomers - will have our plates much too full to be there 100 percent for them. What to do?

Well, with the massive media perception that Boomers are spreading about their "youth" - it is going to be very difficult to make the switch from youth to suddenly "old age". The Boomer illusion of youth now perpetuated throughout media - by Boomers themselves - does not help this generation in the near future. Meaning: pretending one is 40 when one is closer to 65-70 is ok in one's mind - BUT NOT IN THE REAL WORLD.

Generation X had to wait to raise families - why? Because many of the pension-backed jobs were taken by Boomers. Now, out school systems are a mess, medical coverage expensive, and companies' pension systems are in the red due to Boomers gambling their retirements on the likes of ENRON, WORLDCOM, BONDS, AND MUTUAL FUNDS that were really pyramid-schemes. Many companies have to pay out these pensions soon, despite being in the red and so have decided to move operations to China and India so they can keep wages there low, while continuing to operate solely to pay out pensions on monies lost in stock market scams to make themselves rich!

What a mess, huh?

In steps Generation X. We look at the books and puke! We step into the room and see the mess and told, "Huh, can you guys clean up?".

So, one can see why Gen Xers and Gen Y would be rather PISSED OFF IN A REAL SERIOUS WAY since no one asked us what we thought about the mess being made in the first place?

What would help, you ask? A public - meaning a PUBLIC - soul-searching by real, and bone-breaking honest Baby Boomers questioning their OWN GENERATION on all of this. A public washing of laundry to bring out into the open the hidden and nasty lies and deeds perpetrated and laid bare for Generation X and Y to see - so we can ll at least have some semblance of knowledge that the respect due to us is there so by the time Baby Boomers enter the realm of senior citizen we won't say TO HELL WITH ALL OF YOU - and help you manage and maintain a healthy life of the elderly without leaving you all to wither away while we pay REAL ATTENTION TO THE PROBLEMS OF THE REAL WORLD...

How's that for honesty?

A Gen X rant!

Posted by: Theodore on January 17, 2004 5:21 AM

Gen X years?
Gen Y years?

What is the name of the next generation after Gen Y? Years?

Thanks

Posted by: bill gerlach on January 20, 2004 11:46 AM

Some strange feeling seized me when I read your comment, Theodore.
Does Theodore's post look strange here?
No. So Theodore, what is the point in your comment?
There always has to be some point.
Nothing personal tho.
regards,
Anderson

Posted by: Anderson.J. on February 2, 2004 12:44 PM


Theodore, Do I know you?
Have you ever been to St Louis?
If yes, hit me up on ICQ: 136547585.
If not - sorry you just remind me of someone.
regards,
Chris

Posted by: Christian on February 2, 2004 9:49 PM

GEN X POST EXPLAINS ITSELF

To Chris, no, never been to St. Louis...

To Anderson: Well, what is the point? Read the rant; it explains itself. The Baby Boomer generation, which took the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s for itself and ACTUALLY believed it would never age is now trying to reverse the aging process and in the attempt, screw the generations following them! How's that for peace and love? You know what the point is man!

Theodore

Posted by: Theodore on February 4, 2004 2:13 AM

Nope. 61-64 is not "boom". Those MAY be years where the birthrate was still "booming",but culturally speaking,with the way we define genrations in this nation,they ARE NOT boom.

Posted by: Libertine65 on February 14, 2004 12:28 AM

I guess I have to admit to being classified as an X generationer. I was born on Easter in 1972, rudely interrupting my mother's easter dinner. I almost weighed as much as the ham at 9 lbs. 2 oz's, but that's not why I'm writing. The reason I am writing is to state that I will miss the Boomer generation; a generation filled with principles, ethics, genuiness, determination, loyalty, and most of all, hard work. The irony of it all, is that we will probably again profit from their retirement. As they age, they will be inundated with junk mail, advertisements and anyone else who is willing to try and drain their pocketbooks. I guess I'm just being protective and nastalgic since this group includes my parents. In the end, it should all balance since the X generation will have to support medicaid, medicare and any other social program being provided for a disproportionatly larger segment of the population. We all, with some of those past principles will hopefully make it, even with the ever-burgeoning half billion dollar deficit, and 7 trillion dollar national debt.

Posted by: Daniel Giancola on February 25, 2004 11:24 PM

I would like to add a little of my own thoughts to the debate on generations. My father was born in 1951 and my mother in 1950. Both of my grandfathers were in the Army during WWII. They grew up with Howdy Doody and captain Kangaroo. They distinctly remember the day JFK was shot and came of age during "Beatlemania." They becamne part of the counterculture in the late sixties and early seventies. My sister was born in 1971. I would definently consider her a gen-xer. She grew up with Scooby Doo and Wonder Woman and played with Weebles. She came of age in the 80's with the advent of Cyndi Lauper and Madonna and the Eurythmics. To me, this is where the stereo type ends. I was born in 1982, so called generation Y. By that times my parents were in there early thirties settling in to adulthood. Due to the age difference between my sister and I, they often say they raised two "only children."
Growing up I have noticed distinct differences between children born in the early 80's depending on the age of the parent. A child born in 1982 to a parent who was aged 20-25 was raised differently than another child born in '82 to a parent in there early to mid 30's. Yes I can identify culturally with gen Y but preferentially I can identify with both gen xer's and boomers. Case in point, I grew up with my parents listening to the Beatles, while other friends my age grew up with there parents listening to the Bee Gees. My parents were never yuppies while many of my friends parents were. If anything, a generation is a state of mind, not a state of being.

Posted by: Tim Dunham on February 27, 2004 9:55 PM

Instersting point, Tim. I agree with you about the effects one's parents' age can have on cultural inclinations. My kids (still teenagers) are the children of unrehabilited boomers--they grew up on our music, our politics and world view, and cultural preferences. Most of their friends have much younger parents. Seems my boys are more closely aligned with the attitudes and values they assimilated from us than with those of some of their friends. In fact dare I say--my older son may be Boomer Redux. (A mother can only hope!)

Posted by: Jan on February 27, 2004 11:39 PM

Know thy self. We're trying hard with very little success. Take for instance this picture of a minute hand moving from minute one to minute two, pick what hour you desire. But tell me what is the point that the hand rest upon when it transitions from one to two. Is it 1.9999999..., or it is one of those impossible number like pie or phi. Or does time just seem to do the impossibble and just goes on without end. Everyone now are because of everyone that was. There is no line of demarcation for the past, present and future. Trying to find one is just mental amusements. Just have fun and enjoy.
Leave the baby boomer, X-gen and everyother label to the rule maker's aid in determining the decisions for the monopoly game they play.

Posted by: Stanford Sims on March 2, 2004 9:18 PM

Generation Xers Coming of Age

Four years into the new millenium, here we are: seeing millions of Baby Boomers re-entering the workforce at the same time that millions of jobs are "outsourced" by the same baby boomer corporate "leaders" to China and India. Does any of this make sense?

America is being failed by the very generation that swore it was "right" in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, we see boomers denying the aging process - as if they are "special" and age should not touch them. So, here we are - in the 21st century - and the Baby Boomers have much of the modern culture looking "backwards" not forward.

What do we see? Memories of the 1970s? "Retro" shows and boomers redoing the "disco age" while the world around us is in deep trouble. What happened to the environment? What happened to future?

I suggest Generation Xers and Generation Yers look FORWARD - because the 2000s and the 2010s and beyond are going to be very challenging decades and we have more to worry about than Baby Boomers trying to hide their age by denying wrinkles while pretending to be young again!

Posted by: Theodore on March 13, 2004 6:52 AM

I guess I'm lucky that my parents are from the Silent Generation so I can be resentful of them rather than the Baby Boomers. I was born in 1972 so I'm clarily a Gen-Xer. I have a sibling born in 1977 and boy is she different than myself...let's call that generation Gen-Y (just kidding). I do believe that we Gen-Xers have a lot to be resentful for since we don't have the wonderful jobs with great benefits (you know, like health insurance for example). I'm sure the Boomer mid-life crisis fade will disappear and we'll be able to carve a nitch for ourselves.

Posted by: Dovey on March 18, 2004 4:51 AM

I'm definitely a gen y.I was born 1978.My cousins 3 of them was born between 1965-1976 they're cynical and I'm optimistic about life.

Posted by: lyn on March 30, 2004 7:49 AM

There ya go Lyn...I posted a while ago...clearly there is a difference between people born in 1978 or so and those born just a couple of years earlier. I honestly think it's a bigger demarcation than between boomers and X-ers.

Posted by: Mark on April 1, 2004 12:24 AM

If you go online checkout the "Generation Y quiz" 29 questions to find out which generation you belong to.Just a suggesstion.

Posted by: lyn on April 1, 2004 8:30 AM

I can't find it Lyn (searched with Google)...do you have the URL?

Posted by: Mark on April 1, 2004 10:25 AM

Try Yahoo.

Posted by: lyn on April 1, 2004 7:25 PM

I believe that people are confusing era's with real generations. Personally I'd liked to call myself a "Bicentennial" 1965-85.But if you must ask I also consider myself 2\3 X and 1\3 Y (1976)since the general dates of Y start at either 76,77,or 82. Every generation goes through a number of changes and attitudes, which is even confirmed by this sites' link bar. Being 27 I have experienced New Wave,Punk,Grunge,Rap,Hip Hop,and even Neoswing! I resent having my entire life span being only represented by a life style that died when I was 15! As the class of 95 I also resent those who say that I'm not the same generation as my fellow 95rs who were born in 77. Yes at one stage in my life I was X, which I wasn't when I was a kid. But now I'm in the Y stage in my life- I no longer wear flannel, own a cell phone and remember when I couldn't wait to get my PS2 (Playstation2). I consider anybody between Britney Spears and Eminem, 22-31? , as my culture. An example of this was the kid in Terminator 2. He would now be called a Y but back then he was straight up X. Back then I didn't like anything goverment but now my dream job would be to work at Nasa. In closing I would like to thank this website for letting me venting out my point of view. Also I will admit that while you boomers weren't perfect you guys did some great things and yes, a lot of great music. Sincerly , Wayne

Posted by: Wayne on April 2, 2004 2:20 AM

I checked out the quiz, Lyn, and I guess I'm more "Y" than "X". But a lot of those "Y" characteristics are more "X" characteristics ("Do you want fries with that" does NOT by any stretch of the imagination portray the expectations of my generation).

Wayne, apparently being born in 76 you're on the other side of the divide, or at least the divide I am thinking of. Did you notice when you were in high school (or college) differences between your class and the younger classes in terms of attitude, stress levels, aspirations, culture references etc.?

Posted by: Mark on April 2, 2004 1:30 PM

Basicly no. What the cool people wore, did, watch, ect, was what everybody else tried to do. But that's the way it was growing up. When I was a kid no one thought that a 9 year old was of a different generation then one that was 7. Same way in high school. There were only Boomers and us kids. I only knew of GenX as a marketing campaign during the mid 90's. As for attitude and aspirations that was determined by how rich your family was. And no, I don't remember this deep rift between Boomers and my peers other than your typical teenage angst of growing up.
But as time goes on it seems that more and more people are finding ways to subdivide my life and experiences into oblivion. If I can't relate to somebody who attended the same classes as I then who? We certainly don't identify with the "real Xers", the "eighties" children who were Metal Heads and New Wavers. So that only leaves those only born a couple years before me as my generation. Does someone born just 4 months later relate more to someone who was born in the mid 90's than to me? Am I just a dirty old man because I think some 24 year old girl is hot? No because when it comes down to the individual it's all relative. I no more identify with someone who graduated in 85' than some who will graduate in 05.
And there must be some connections between me and the younger crowd. My two best friends in high school were 97's who I met in art class. We called ourselves the "slackers" by the way, just to mock some of the jerk teachers.
Believe it or not I understand why you want to distance yourself from the sterotype as much as possible. After a few years of hearing how bad people born from 65 to 81 were, I've reciently came across a number of reports and opinions that state that Gen Y is different from Millenials and is made up of those between in the years 1976 to 1981. That's why I call myself 1\3rd Y by the way. This also backs up the claim by those born from 65-72\74 that I wasn't a true X. I found myself relieved to think that I might still be considered young and even a good person by the media. But no, I'm no better or worse than anybody a few years younger or older than me just because of when I was born.
Finally Mark we might have been friends if we had attended the same school together. From your earlier post you seem like an intelligent and cool guy. As for my view on if there was any clear mark I would have to say it would be those who started high school after 90. The 80's fads were dead and Vanilla Ice and New Kids were already considered done by my class when we were freshman. Sincerly Wayne. PS: I took that test and my results were: PreBoomer-5 Boomer-3 Xr-8 Y-9 and ?-3( 3 of them had no relevence for me at all.) I'll post my answers and alternative answers tomorrow.

Posted by: Wayne on April 3, 2004 3:51 AM

Mark if you don't mind me asking, what year were you born? and what does bling bling mean?

Posted by: lyn on April 3, 2004 6:50 AM

This is my results to the Y test. () denotes my own answers-- 1-Perfect mother:Donna Reed 2-Wanted to be when I grew up:Freethinking artist. 3-Music:B-D 4-Scariest movie moment:(Tent being attacked by Blair Witch) 5-Ideal American:Beavis 6-Retirement:Write novel 7-America's future:Stupid 8-American Dream:Lottery 9-College major:business 10-Good Meal:Drive up 11-Footwear: High tops 12-Learn to drive:(92 Olds) 13-The Woman:(Alicia Silverstone-another 76 I believe) 14- The Man: Cary Grant 15-Lost Idol: James Dean 16- Habit: Crack(eating) 17- Fashion needed to forget: Baggy Pants 18-Weekend: Mountain Biking 19- Remember: OJ 20- Life changing movie: (None) 21-LCNovel: Lord of the rings 22-Sports:I wanta be like Mike 23-Celeb not to be claim: Vanilla Ice(Tom Greene) 24-Computures are: My only link to the outside world 25-Father is who: wears the pants. 26- After college plans: Work hard 27-Annoying fad:Body Piercings 28-Gen's voice: Carson Daily 29-Biggest Fear: Things that suck
This just proves that I'm neither a teen or middle aged. WYN

Posted by: Wayne on April 3, 2004 1:13 PM

Generation Y seems to be the Y should I care generation. I was born in 79'and I am definately an Xer. Here's a good question for the boomers? Did you guys ask WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH OUR YOUTH? Because, I cannot walk through the halls at my college without asking myself that question. I think all the radiation waves from microwaves, cell phones and television has seeped through their skulls. Or maybe it is just because they are jaded. They have seen it all. If it is not shocking, cutting edge or recent, they have never heard of it. Bombarded with Britney Spears naked and Boob flashing on prime time t.v. they have little exposure to anything alse. An 18 year old girl said to me the other day...Who is Jonh Lennon? WOW... I think what worries me about the Y Generation is that their ambivilence has had a serious effect on current teen culture....As a matter of fact it seems thay have no culture at all....One day when they will grow up, will they suddenly marinate themselves in culture to catch up?

Let me know what ya' think...

If Y's culture is lacking this badly then Z may really be the end of culture all together? Unless you consider Britney Spears culture?

Posted by: Melissa on April 9, 2004 2:00 PM

Lyn: I was born in '78...and "bling bling" is money I think (although I personally never use that term)

Wayne: I admit that the boundaries are indeed "fuzzy"...but I think that there is a clear difference between people my age and those just a few years older. Look at those people on American Idol. The cutoff age is 24 at audition time. The show has only been on since 2002, so the oldest people on the show have been born in 1978 (mid 1977 if you want to be technical). But there's little difference between the attitudes, demeanor, etc. between the 24 year olds and the 17 year olds. Of course, you can argue that AI doesn't represent all of America, but that's just one of many examples that I can think of.

Melissa: Two things I want to say...if you were born in '79, then you were only one year old when Lennon was shot. So obviously Lennon when he was alive at least, did not play much of a role in your life. Second, I agree that pop culture today has little substance. The only thing is that most of the pop culture today is produced by people OUR age, which is rather disconcerting. Sometimes I cringe when I realize I was born in the same year as Justin Guarini and Ashton Kutcher. So it's not just them...it's us too!


Posted by: Mark on April 10, 2004 10:25 PM

In an attempt to answer the original thread I have spent a mind numbing week diving into over a hundred websites and pages. I believe that confusion exist because there is actually two general models, based on the number of divisions. The first breaks it into 2
(Gen X,GenY) while the second into 3 (GenX,GenY,and Millenials) Because of this my year has been "officially" reassigned 5 times into 3 different "generations".
- I agree that the 17-24 age demographic is different than the 25-32. However this is more due to age and experience than era. In my own life I have experienced a few more life changing events in the past 5 years which has made me a different person then I was at 22.
-From my studies both online and in the real world it seems to me that these "Gens" have a way of becoming lifestyles which are practiced by all ages. I've seen kids my age become hippies while my two younger cousins (20\22) are way more X then I could be. Even on this thread there are those in the 76-81 birthrange who clearly identify with X while others side with the millenials.
-Finally:I can only speak of my own experience and can't speak for others. Maybe our highschool of 620 was more integrated(especially elective classes)then others.I want to apologize for monopolizing this thread and to fans of Greene, I know he is a nice guy. Sincerly, WYN

Posted by: Wayne on April 13, 2004 3:26 PM

Mark,Bush or Kerry ?

Posted by: lyn on April 14, 2004 11:52 PM

Final Posting: I've said pretty much all I can say. I still believe that a 27 year old born in Aug.76 can relate to a 27 born in Jan.77, or a 26 and 25 year old for that matter. And that goes for someone born in 75 for all those X'er websites who say 76'rs aren't cool or intellegent enough to understand them.
-Wayne

Posted by: Wayne on April 15, 2004 3:10 AM

Actually that's (intelligent), so ok, maybe we're can't.

Posted by: Wayne on April 15, 2004 3:41 AM

Sorry, it's (intelligent), so ok, maybe we can't.

Posted by: Wayne on April 15, 2004 3:46 AM

mmm...probably leaning ever-so-slightly towards Bush at this point...but I'm too fickle with this.

Posted by: Mark on April 16, 2004 5:55 PM

mmm...probably leaning ever-so-slightly towards Bush at this point...but I'm too fickle with this.

Posted by: Mark on April 16, 2004 5:56 PM

I'm fickled as well.I wanted Howard Dean to win.Don't take this personal... I'm against the war in Iraq.You know when Bush won the election in 2000,I felt somewhat guilty for not voting.To everyone who is in the military(possibly you Mark),I hope didn't offend anybody.Forgive me."Love is the answer"(John Lennon's song "Mind Games")

Posted by: lyn on April 17, 2004 7:12 AM

I guess I have to vote for Kerry.

Posted by: lyn on April 17, 2004 7:17 AM

That's OK Lyn (I'm not in the military, btw), you're entitled to your opinion...that's what's so great about our generation...compared to previous generations, I think we're a lot more understanding of other people's opinions.

Posted by: Mark on April 17, 2004 5:58 PM


I was born in 1979. However I am not commited to

either X or Millennial. I have a lot more common

with World War II vets and Silent generation and

Baby Boomers. Yet I hate the X and the Millennial

generations. They suck, spoiled, stupid and weak.

My prediction is once the Baby Boomers pass away,

the country will fall, with a new superpower in

place, the European Union. The superpower game

will shift back to Europe and Colonialism will

return. Communism is still powerful with China

and Vietnam with the population to crush the USA.

The Cold war never ended and never will.

questions anybody?

Posted by: A.LOS (1979) on April 19, 2004 9:42 AM

I'm a Virgo Mark what's your sign ?

Posted by: lyn on April 20, 2004 9:50 AM

I'm an Aries Lyn...born in the spring :-)

Here's a short test that I kinda developed over time, which I think is a pretty good measure of whether you're Generation "X" or something after:

1) Did you ever fear WWIII as a child?

2) Do you listen to 80s stations to reminisce or as a learning experience?

and here's the biggie:

3) Did you use the internet before college/adulthood?

I think that will kinda resolve the whole situation.


Posted by: Mark on April 22, 2004 11:27 AM

Mark I'm an Aries Ascendant/Rising.If you read "Linda Goodman's Relationship Signs" you'll understand what I'm talking about.If you were born during daylight savings time you subtract an hour from your time of birth.All this time I thought was a Taurus Rising.My birthdate is 9/1/1978.As for the 3 questions 1)I didn't believe in WWIII,I believed in aliens,you know like the film "Independence Day".2)The 80's suck! cheesy music videos ever, thank God it's over.The 90's & now are better.Proud to be a 90's person.3)I started using the internet after high school in 1999.It's ashame though.I think the internet was made public in 1992? maybe you might know.

Posted by: lyn on April 22, 2004 6:52 PM

Mark I'm an Aries Ascendant/Rising.If you read "Linda Goodman's Relationship Signs" you'll understand what I'm talking about.If you were born during daylight savings time you subtract an hour from your time of birth.All this time I thought was a Taurus Rising.My birthdate is 9/1/1978.As for the 3 questions 1)I didn't believe in WWIII,I believed in aliens,you know like the film "Independence Day".2)The 80's suck! cheesy music videos ever, thank God it's over.The 90's & now are better.Proud to be a 90's person.3)I started using the internet after high school in 1999.It's ashame though.I think the internet was made public in 1992? maybe you might know.

Posted by: lyn on April 22, 2004 6:55 PM

Yeah...I'm not really into astrology so I'm not really sure what you're talking about.

The internet was actually made public in the late 80s early 90s, through the "original" servers like Compuserve and such. But it was essentially limited to BBSs and government data and stuff...no web whatsoever (the graphical World Wide Web didn't develop until 1993). I actually used the internet in 92, when I was a freshman in high school, but it was just to get weather data (I'm a meteorologist). The world wide web didn't really explode until Fall '95 when Windows 95 came out. Seemed that's when everyone all of a sudden started to use it.

Posted by: Mark on April 25, 2004 4:58 PM

Mark if not astrology,what about numerology?
9+1+1+9+7+8=35/8 birthpath.Adding your birthdate up.If your not into any of this,what are your interests/hobbies?

Posted by: lyn on April 25, 2004 5:10 PM

Well, unfortunately I don't have too many hobbies now (I'm in grad school)...however, I like generational theory, weather, traveling, and baseball...particularly the Yankees.

Posted by: Mark on May 1, 2004 1:40 PM

Mark I'm guessing your from Brooklyn.I am born and raise in Honolulu,Hawaii.Have you ever been to Honolulu ? I'm planning to retire in the midwest part of the mainland with my fiancee.Don't worry he's not the jealous type.He talks to other women too.We trust each other.He's from Tulsa,OK.Have you been to Europe,Asia,Africa? if so which countries?.I've read about you in numerology,Mark is a 7 name.You like to read and uncover life's mysteries.You also like the water or anywhere that's peaceful so you can meditate.Occupations for a 7 are: scientific pursuits(what a coincidence),religion,writing,technical work,and legal fields.

Posted by: lyn on May 2, 2004 4:10 PM

close...I'm from Long Island. I've never been to Hawaii...never even been outside the mainland of the US. Must be pretty cool to live in a place like that. I acutually know a couple of people who are from Honolulu (you may even know them since they are about the same age as us). I do like areas close to the ocean, although I like having mountains and other geographical features close by. So that's pretty good!

Maybe it would be better if you e-mail, since this is kinda off topic... :-)

Posted by: Mark on May 5, 2004 1:24 PM

I have some questions for anyone that would like to answer them :

Did America need the "Beats" to question the status quo?

Have the ideas of the "Beats" affected our lives, provided us freedoms or bettered our world?

e-mail me back any comments or answers to my questions! thanks

Posted by: Lauren on May 14, 2004 2:13 AM

Baby boomers were born between 1946-1964 and Gen x
was boon betwwen 1965-1977, Gen y was 1978-1994.

Posted by: brian on May 15, 2004 12:25 PM

Gen X - A Retrospective
Since the my first posting I have gone through a period of growing and of loss. While there have been things that I should have worded differently or not said at all, the core tenets of what I said still hold true. I'm sorry for getting too wrapped up in defending my opinion, however it becomes an emotional item for me when defending my claim to the memories and experiences of my life. This also holds true when it comes to being stereotyped. People are people no matter what age, race, national, or anything else one might be born into. Finally as an adult I know that my views and outlooks on life will continue to change and evolve as time goes by. What I say now will probably differ from what I believe in the future.
-The Life of a Bicentennial-
The main reason for writing this post is so show all those who are curious, what the experience of being a 27 year old born in 1976 is like.
(A real child of the 80's)
Being born in 76 is to be born between Drew Barrymore and Ashton Kutcher and to share your year with Reese Witherspoon and Alicia Silverstone. As we became kids we dreamed of G.J.Goes, Transformers, and later TMNT's on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile our parents had other things on their minds like something called an "arms race" and if they could afford to buy that Tandy computer down at Radio Shack. We heard Whitney Houston sing about how we were the future and how important it was to believe in us. Later we were amazed upon learning about something called Compuserve that actually let us play games with people from around the country!
(Growing pains)
The 80's had come to an end while in Jr.High. But they passed with hardly a notice. The girls were to busy thinking about their new found crushes on the "New Kids on the Block" while the guys thought that Bart Simpson was too rad for words. About this time we started to take notice of pop culture. Finally we arrived at high school. Things were changing big time. By the time Kirk Kobain commited suicide during my sophmore year Gangsta Rap had taken hold of the nation. Our clothes were baggy, our hats were either tipped to the back or the side, and we knew what neighborhoods not to wear our Orlando Magic Jackets. However we did have a hero and his name was Jordan, Michael Jordan. Although there were those who liked that big guy from Orlando. While in school we watched Lisa Ling on Channel 1 talk about the L.A Riots, Waco, and the Oklahoma City bombing. On TV and the movies we saw our highschools in "Clueless" and "Beavis and Butthead". Finally we graduated in 94 and 95.
(The prime years)
Another change took place when we went to college. We became fans of groups like No Doubt, Smashmouth, Bare Naked Ladies, and Sugar Ray. During Y2K we ruled. At age 23 history will forever record us as the princes' of a new technological age. However the party would not last as the economy broke before we got our "share". Soon afterwards we experienced the Pearl Harbor of our time. The best of us would sign up for to protect their country. And one would give up everything to do it. And as if to compound our nations loss we watched as another group of heroes blazed across the bright blue sky.
(The Future)
Although there are some who want to forget us and say we're through, we have another 40 years till retirement in which to make our mark upon the world. We will be the generation to colonize the moon and will command and guide those who come after us as they spread humanity to Mars. We have an amazing half century ahead and I hope that we can give our children and theirs a great legacy and help make the world little bit better place for them.
(Conclusion) Thank you for reading my posting and I apologise for any grammar or spelling errors. I had a lot to say and to save time breezed through the editing phase.
Peace Y'll- Wayne H.

Posted by: Wayne on May 16, 2004 3:46 AM

Here are the dates I've found for Gen X, Gen Y, and the Millennials.
Gen X -(1961-81),(1961-76),(1965-75),(1966-81)
Gen Y -(1976-81),(1973/6/7/8/9-?),(1982-?)
Millennials -(1976/7/8/9/0-?),(1982-?)

Plus many more! Take your pick!

-wyn

Posted by: Wayne on May 16, 2004 4:08 AM

-Those Roaring Silents-

Why is the generation between the GI generation and the Boomers called the "Silents"? Didn't they invent Rock and Roll and change Western civilization forever?

-wyn

Posted by: Wayne on May 16, 2004 4:17 AM

If the disagreement is about the Silents inventing rock and roll, then I will share what I have learned that brings me to my conclusion. According to Google this is what I found.
-Silent Generation- (1925-1942)
1932: Carl Perkins 1935: Elvis , Jerry Lee Lewis
1936: Buddy Holly 1942: Brian Wilson , Jimmi Hendrix , John Lennon
To me that seems like a decent foundation for Rock and Roll. The real reason I even brought the subject up was because someone's question about the beats. If the comment was about the generation dates those are taken from various sites on the net. If you are refering to my experiences then all I can say is that it's what I went through, even if it doesn't nicely fit into some marketers arbitrary dating system. My zeal in writing is because I feel that my past, present, and future is being denied me. It is not my intent to hurt anyone. Finally I forgot to add that video games played a huge part in my life. the NES (Nintendo) came out when I was about 8 or 9. Afterward my parents gave me a SNES during my freshman year. The first system I bought with my own money was the PS1 (Playstation) and today I have a PS2. Just a few weeks ago I read that the average gamer is 28. Sincerly , Wayne

Posted by: Wayne on May 17, 2004 6:06 PM

Wayne, you're right about the "Silents" in that they played a HUGE part in creating Rock-N-Roll; although most of the roots of Rock are based in African-American music of the south, jazz, R & B which developed into versions of Swing and of course, the Rock sounds of the 1950s.

One of the reason this generation is called the "Silents" is again based on the Baby Boomers' "me" generation view which focussed solely on themselves and called other generations before them "Silents" or "Matures" to describe the Boomers perception of previous generations' reaction to the Boomers' "rebellion" of the 1960s and 1970s. I always wondered why they referred to the people born before them "Silent" as if these people had nothing to say?

Presently, we are living in the age of the Boomer - but not for long; since the front end is already in their 60s while the rest are in their 50s. This generation - the Baby Boomers - were the first generation that were celebrated for their "youth" in the 1960s - which is why we have this huge focus on plastic surgeries, and "looking" young. Why a 30 or even 40-year old would subject themselves to Botox injections because the "Boomers" are into it is beyond me!

Anyhow, the generational change happening now is growing as Boomers are forced to look into themselves as part of the human race which ages - WE ALL DO! Denial of this is the reason for all the "retro" TV, music and fashion of the times. But this is false. What we all should be doing is LOOKING AHEAD AND LIVING IN THE 21st Century - the 20th century, which all of the Boomers have lived most of their lives - is over.

Posted by: Theodore on June 1, 2004 5:33 AM

I just came across this thread for the first time tonight and thought I would add my thoughts in. I was born in January of '82, and when I first started looking into the whole generational division thing it was really weird that one of the common dividers for X and Y was 1981.... meaning if I were born two weeks earlier (making me December of '81 rather than January of '82), I would have technically been in a different generation. So because of that I've always felt left out of something. Some late-70s people have mentioned feeling like they're on the borderline of generations, but I've felt that way too. My brothers were born in late-84, '86, and '90, and I honestly feel like I have nothing in common with them. I grew up listening to different music and liking television shows that they barely remember. (I know those aren't the only criteria for defining a generation, but those are just two examples.)

Also, the computer issue is a difficult one to use as criteria as other people have suggested. My friend, for example, who was born in '81, has a father who works with computers and therefore grew up with one and was using the internet back in 1994 when I had never heard of it. But I am 9 months younger than he is and my parents don't have much money, and we didn't get a computer until much later. I didn't use the internet until the end of my junior year of high school, which would be 1999. I know to the older crowd that makes me sound young, but there is also a big difference between me, who had a computer for the end of high school and through college, and my youngest brother, who is 14 and has been using the internet since he was 9 (whereas when I was 9 I thought The Oregon Trail on the Apple IIe at school I got to use once a week was the coolest game ever).

So I guess I am trying to say that people have said that there feel a divide between '81 and '82, but I feel just as big a divide between '82 and '83/'84, and I see no difference between myself and those born in '81. I first start feeling younger and noticing a bit of a divide around those born in 1978 and before I think. I am not sure which group I identify more with.... I generally like early-mid 90s alternative rock for music, but I also grew up on cheesy 80s pop and I got into classic rock through my father. I didn't have a cell phone until last year (senior year of college), and none of my friends had them until college either (and only then because long-distance was cheaper that way), yet my two brothers had them in high school and my youngest brother is in junior high and many of his friends have them already. I saw just as big a difference in the freshmen in high school when I was a senior as those born in '79 probably saw in my class.

I've always felt like I was sort of left out of X but then too old for Y (or "Millenials" or whatever it is called). There was one website I found that extended X into 1982, so it was cool to be included in the one I liked better, even if it was only from one source, but also by that extention I don't think I have much in common with someone born in the mid-60s. It's kind of weird because I feel like I don't belong in either, and it was also weird to hear people who I always thought were definitely X say the same thing. I feel that I have much more in common with someone born in 1980 than with someone born in 1990 (or even 1985 for that matter), but I guess I'm not really sure where someone like me would fit into the whole classification system.

Posted by: Colleen on June 16, 2004 3:21 AM

Dear Colleen,
What you say makes perfect sense. Frankly I'm learning over time that the concept of generations really doesn't make sense when it's applied to society in general. No matter what anyone says you have as much in common with someone born in 81 as in 83. Trying to group people culturally is becoming harder as well. Even what is X is changing. To me the term X meant all things 90's. However over the past year or so it now is changing into all things 80's. And what is considered GenX music is really underserving the 13th Generation(1961-81).
While most regard this generations music as only between 80's and early 90's GenX is still producing and will be for at least another 20 years. Even Boomers are still making music. Some say that the music of GenX is only Metal or Grunge which simply isn't true. Whether your listening to Celine Dion or Britney Spears, Matchbox Twenty or Lenny Kravitz, you're listening to the the 13th generation. Another example is that when I was in highschool, country and even celtic music was big (that explains why I like the Chieftains "the plank road"). I'm often genericly called X but my pop culture age according the PepsiSmash and American Idol (16-25) spanned from 1993 to 2002, outlasting the traditional GenX time period. Besides I grew up on music from the 60's and 70's thanks to my Boomer parents and even have a weakness for Ragtime piano! And today defining what is X is getting harder to do since it is being applied to even children of today with terms like Xtreme Teens, ect (I do think of this as the X decade for several reasons though). Finally as a side note I've decided to read Copeland's "Generation X- Tales of an accelerated culture" which is the book that started it all. It's interesting to note that the inside description explains that the book is for people born in the late 50's thru the 60's. According to that half the Boomers are GEN-X! I've have found through my studies most of the origins of terms of GenX, 13th generation, GenY, Nomads, and Millennials which I will post when after finishing this book.
Till Later- wyn

Posted by: Wayne on June 24, 2004 3:26 AM

I was born in 1980 and I think that anyone born from around 1977-1980 can be safely classified into Generation X, but at the very tail end. I work with a guy who was born in 1984 yet he has no concept of things such as Cool and the Gang, New Edition, and a few other early-80s things. Although you can't go by small things like that, at the same time those things were made and arrived for a specific mentality of people. So if your age group's mentality doesn't go with it then I think it is safe to say that the two groups don't mesh. Just because I wasn't a teenager in 1980 doesn't mean that I'm not an 80's person. My childhood was in the 80's and my teen years were in the 90's and the distinctions between those two eras of my life are very defined. When I was coming up everything that mid-late-Generation Y-ers considered normal were just coming about. For example, late X-ers, I'm sure, can remember Saved By the Bell's Zack having a cell phone and that was considered a big thing to have in school, whereas now it's normal. For us, beepers/pagers were the norm, not cell phones. I come from a large floppy disk era, not the cute little floppy with a hard covering. To be honest, when making that line between the generations you have to remember that anyone born at the tail end of any generation is going to have a lot in common with both their given generation and the one right after. For that reason it is really hard to define them, and any lines drawn can only really be soft gray lines, not hard black ones.

Posted by: Melanie on June 25, 2004 4:59 PM

Beepers\Pagers- Ha! I almost forgot about those!
I remember the controversy about them being allowed in school. Supposedly drug dealers and other thugs were using them for illegal activities. Considering the widespread use of cellphones does anyone still use them or have they gone the way of electric typewriters?
Technology- I agree with Colleen about how hard it is to use computers in defining generations. While I first went online during my senior year back in 95 I didn't really establish my online identity until 01. However me and my dad went online about the same time and he in no time flat started putting up his own sites on the web and has been on ever since. Also some seem to acclaim the next generation with cellphones, videogames, internet, ect , as if they were made just for and by them. It is the older generations- Rockers, Boomers, and us who are designing, making, and ultimatly signing the credit card slips. They will have advances of their own to contribute but the adults of today aren't dead yet!
20 Years- Actually to me the generation
following the boomers SHOULD span between 1965 and 1984 or 85 since every other generation got 20 years. But I've only rarely seen that date used and I know a lot of kids born between 82 and 85 probably wouldn't want to be linked with us old geezers anyway.
The 80's- I am not ashamed to say I remember
the decade. However apart from getting my parents to buy Transformers and watching Alf, I really was too young to be behind a driving force in that culture for I only was 13 in 1990
Till later- wyn

Posted by: Wayne on July 4, 2004 3:31 AM

Explanation-
When I said that the datings should be 1965-85 that was based on those who say GenX started in 65. However the 1961 date is becoming popular as a starting date for my generation which then takes it back to 81. Music - I'm not saying that everyone born in 76 listened to late 90's college rock. However that is the time most of us did go to college.

Posted by: wyn76 on July 5, 2004 1:23 AM

Explanation-
When I said that the datings should be 1965-85 that was based on those who say GenX started in 65. However the 1961 date is becoming popular as a starting date for my generation which then takes it back to 81. Music - I'm not saying that everyone born in 76 listened to late 90's college rock. However that is the time most of us did go to college.

Posted by: wyn76 on July 5, 2004 1:24 AM

I just found this discussion today through a websearch looking up "Generation Y", after I saw an article describing "Generation X" as those being born between 1965-1980. I never really considered myself part of "Generation X." I've always thought of my older cousins born in the late 1960s-mid 1970s as part of that generation. I think those of us born around 1978-1982 kind of fall right in the middle of the two groups. I was born in 1979, so the 1980's were my childhood. The music I remember hearing during that decade was basically the biggest and cheesiest pop hits(I remember my mom listening to Wham and the Bangles). Most of the music I like from that era (Talking Heads, early 80's punk-new wave, Prince, old hiphop) I only really got into in my late teens or early twenties. Howevever, two things I think that really divide Generation Xers from Yers are hip-hop and computers(plus other technology). I didn't really have much of a realization of pop culture until I was about 9-10 years old in 1988-1989. Although I remember buying music like Aerosmith and other rock groups around that time, rap was the music that I remember really loving. This might not be neccesarily true for everyone(and I realize that not everyone grew up with or even like hip-hop), but I feel that a certain dividing line with regards to hip-hop exists right aroung those born close to 1980. I know people born a few years younger then me, who remember hearing the Beastie Boys and Run DMC when in high school back in the mid-1980s. However back then rap was still considered somewhat of a novelty. Right around 1987-1989, when Public Enemy, De La Soul and other "serious" rap groups began to break big, hip-hop culture became somewhat more legitimized to the public at large. People of my age group were really the first in large numbers to have the first album they bought be a rap record. And although me and my friends might get nostalgic about Guns 'N Roses and Nirvana, more than often we'll reminise about listening to the Geto Boys or "Nuthin'but a G'Thing". And surprisingly this will often be true even for people who would even think of currently listening to rap music. I think the same is sort of true for computers. I remember my family buying a Macintosh around 1985 and before that my mother had a Texas Instruments computer (anybody remember those). In elementary school, Apple IIEs were still considered a luxury. By junior high school computers, the question was always, do you have a computer at home? I remember discovering the internet(albeit at a very crude stage) at the age of 14 in 1993 during my freshman year of high school. By the time I started college the internet had almost replaced books as the primary source of research. So people born from about 1978-1982, were really the first babies of the "computer generation." And its interesting that both personal computers and hip hop music first entered the public conciousness around this stage. Then both went through a growing period where they were still considered jokes by some, then became big business right around the end of the decade , and then by the early nineties were realized as permanent elements of American culture. I welcome any responses of criticisms to this post, as I'm interested what others have to say about this.

Posted by: Derek Long on July 21, 2004 1:12 AM

1977-1994, from disco to grunge, from Apple II to the internet, Gen Y is where it's @.

Posted by: G‹[]\/[]I3Y on August 16, 2004 4:57 PM

Wave vs Generation
This debate on who's GenX and who's Millennial actually might be one of wave vs generation.
-Wave Theory-: Span starting from 1971\72 to about 1981. Proposed by Strauss and Howe (Nintendo Wave)and Douglas Coupland (Global Teens-main character is a 20 year old in 92)
-Early Millennial-: Often proposed by marketers with varying dates between 1973-80.
The wave idea recognises that 70's Xrs are of the same generation but of a different era from someone born in the 60's. The early millennial concept (also known as Y) is generally used to seperate 30somethings form 20something who supposedly have more disposable income. However even if those born in the 70's are of seperate generations does it really matter in the long run? To a post boomer like me, there isn't much difference between a boomer and someone like Bob Dylan or John Lennon of the ironicly named "Silent Generation". Personally whether they're classified X or Y, any fellow 20something who has Boomer parents and went to highschool during 90's like me I loosely consider of my era.
Finally I think it's interesting that some consider my youth over at age 13 in 1990. As I have already stated before my childhood was in the 80's and all of my highschool and traditional college years were in the 90's. I came of age during Grunge, HipHop, Rap (Tupac,Snoop,ect), Alternative, NeoSwing, College Rock, ect. While there is nothing wrong from coming of age during the 80's that was not my time! Also I think that all this division will rob us in the end. My parents got 30 years to consider their time. From the Beatles to Fleetwood Mac to Robert Palmer. I would like to enjoy the same richness in life as they do. One final nitpick: I believe the first home computer (Apple) came out in April of 1976. Our first computer was a Commodore64 in 88 and dad ran his own site in 95. So yeah I think we 76rs have a claim to being among the first children of the Information age. So thanks again for reading another long winded post from me,
Sincerly Wayne :-)

Posted by: Wyn on September 1, 2004 2:59 AM

after reading all (actually only some) of these posts {a ton from the start and a some from the end} I'm still not sure of any of this...

I was born in 1980 and I remember a lot of those things mentioned... Actually I can remember a "most" of thos things. My first computer was a Commodore 64, we even had the super high-tech tape drive; come to think, I currently come across unmarked tapes, and thinking that there unmarked mix's, pop them into my car's TAPE DECK, only to hear what sounds like a MODEM's cousin... oops, must be a C64 data track. But i also remember BBS's, and my first video games were "River Raid", and "frogger" on the AMAZING Atari 2600. Can anyone remember the commercial, it went, "the twenty six hundered - from ahh- tar - eee"

i think there's a rogue generation that existed between 76 and 80... Technically, I'm a "Carter baby"... but baby on board, station wagons, mini-vans, reagan, gulf war 1 (and of course 2), atari, commodore, grunge as a pre-teen AND teenager, I remember. However, I can also recall, life WITHOUT a computer OR videogames, NO mini-vans only station-wagons, oh, and PS- I STILL dont own a cell phone because they're ridiculous.

So what am I... Genx, GenY? What comes in between? I believe that after the mid-seventies, as the traditional social structure of the "family" evolved to include and stress friends and the more present "step"- family, coupled with an ever increasing birth rate, that there was and will be "mini-generations" maybe not plural but at least 76-80, that's a definate mini generation.

Posted by: 4years on September 5, 2004 2:00 PM

I was born on the 28th of December, 1945. By most accepted definitions I pre-date the "boom" by four days. However, I've always considered myself a true baby boomer given the nature of my childhood and many other factors. My personal definition of the beginning of the baby boom generation is this: If you were born in the Nuclear Age -- after August 6, 1945 -- you are a baby boomer. You were born into a world far different from the one inhabited by the previous generation.

Posted by: john giannotti on September 8, 2004 11:25 PM

Hi!

I have read all that posts and i'm very impressed with our way of define a generation. I'm not sciologus or something like that (in fact, i'm a 17 years old guy from Spain, but all this interest me so much)
I think than we have not to describe a generation because of his date of bort, but because the values an the culture of the time when he grew up. I was born in 1987, i'm supposed to be a Millenial, different from the X gen, but I think only about five generations seince the end of the world war II I'll explain that:

After the world war II, inmediately before the Baby Bomm, grew up one generation involved in some facts: The beggining of the cold war, the risk of nuclear war, the rising of consumer society, etc... that made one generation those that became teenagers in late 40's, and 50's, that was a generation mainly conservative (althought than began to change). Now we have another generation than became young in he 60's and early 70's, a generation involved in very strong social changes, the idealism, pacifism and all that crap. That was a generation very worried about politics and very defined, af people that really felt like a single generation. Now we have the people that became young in late 70's and 90's (my parent's generation). The grew up the death of utophias, the consevative revolution and the economic boom. That's is a generation totally dissapointed about politics very, cinycal and too much worried about the idea of succed or loose (i see all that in my own house) Now, we have my generation, grew up in 90's and right now, like me. It's hard to have an accurate vison form my point of view. We have lived an unipolar world, the boom of information technologies (I learn to use a computer at the same time of read and write), and a social environment near to crisis because of hard changes in the way of undertand absolutely everything. We are (mainly) an apathic and a bit pessimistic generation, but it doesn't mean that we have no values like some people want to believe. We're more cared about (human) feelings and experiences (some nice action!) than previous generation. The fifth generation is that will grow up in the '2010s, and we can't know what will we like (by the moment, play with toys) because we don't know what will happen in that decade.

Finally, I think that generations are valid for all occidental world, not only for the USA. Sapin, for example, is very different of USA but the generations are the same. We havd the post-war conservative generation (in that case, post-civil war). We had that time of sudent rebellions (in that case, against dictatorship). We have that cynical generation of the 80's, etc etc. Because of that I think a classification like that it's much more accurate.

Posted by: Heechee on October 3, 2004 8:59 AM

PD: I forgot to explain that, but I think the concept of X Generation is a terrible mistake. It's hard to me think that teenagers of 80's and 90's are in the same line, a line different of the "Millenials" or "Yers", whathever you call us. I usually talk with people who was born in the 70's, an I don't see them as a different generation. They became teenagers with the same technology and social changes than us. Does it really matters if they played Super Nintendo instead of PS2? It matters if used internet and mobile phones when had 20 years instead of 10? Their way of think, instead of some comments i've read, i's not differet enough to think them a sa different gen. And the same thing happens with the 80's teens. The 90's teens have less in comon with 80's teens than with us. That is becouse the concept of an X gen (a generation wose values are a mystery for most of people) hasn't ended. Do you think that values of 80's teens was not defined? I think they have pretty clear values: Individualism, pragmatism, success, confort. The real X gen (Really not a different generation of mine) i'ts too much busy founding himself in a world desesperately hostile and confusing, to think about all of that. Resuming: I agreed with the idea of the Silent Generations and the babyboomers, but the idea of a Xers. is totally wrong, and the same happens with the idea o classificating generations for the time when he born instead of the time when he formed themselves.

That's all.

Posted by: Heechee on October 3, 2004 11:26 AM

Wayne, I really understand where you're coming from. As a late 76'er myself, I grew up believing I was a Gen-Xer, even though I never felt a part of it. I prefer to call myself a Gen X-Y'er since I see myself as half of each. I'm the oldest child of Baby Boomers, I have 1 brother also in the '76-'81 "gray area" and 2 brothers in Gen-Y. I had a less protective childhood compared to Gen-Y, but it was also very structured, with music lessons, softball games, etc. I started playing Atari in 1981 and have continued gaming right into the new age of consoles. Grunge rock was big when I was in high school, as was flannel shirts and baggy jeans. But I have latched onto current groups like Linkin Park and Godsmack without remorse, and wear current fashions. I have much more in common with people born in '86 than people born in '66.

I have seen Steve's Gen-X site and love the concept of having a mini-gen., covering '76-'81, when Baby Boomers started becoming parents and creating little versions of themselves, ala Gen-Y. I don't like the 1977-1994 model for Gen-Y; too much development/change went on there for a '77er to relate with a '92er, or whatever. That would also cut my high school class in half, LOL. Like someone said, it depends on how you were raised and what you experienced.

Posted by: Shell on October 23, 2004 3:27 AM

Shell - First I would like to thank you for your supportive post. Actually I'm not opposed to being labeled Gen X as long as it is extended into the eighties. However the 1976-1981 "boomlet" has been recognized as a distinct period with it's own era. Among other things we were the first to start and the last to graduate highschool in the 90's. When someone uses 1977 as a cutoff date a lot of us 76rs feel culturally stranded. While not every Bicentennial feels this way, a number I've met or have read their posts on different websites feel caught in a "generational haze". It's even gotten to the point that one of us, political author Scott Beale, has given up on the X/Y debate. Instead he has written us as Millennials in his book "Millennial Politics". As for feeling more in common with 86rs than 66rs that could be handled by a common view of Gen Y really being a Cusper Gen born between 75ish to 85ish. An example of this "haze" would be reading about a woman's 27 year old GenXr boss and then later about the 18-30 Gen Y movie market.
So in conclusion if you were born in 79,81, or even 85 and consider yourself Gen X then so am I. But where 1977 goes so do we.

Heechee - I appreciate your insight on generations outside of this country. We Americans often only think of our own events when trying to define generations. However there are larger winds of change that effect the world as a whole. Maybe by focusing on the bigger picture we might gain a clearer perspective on what unites a generation.

Till Later, Wyn

Posted by: Wayne on October 31, 2004 1:05 AM

4Years - I also wanted to say that I appreciate your post and to say that you have an equal claim to both GenX and GenY in the public opinion. By the way, my dad still owns RiverRaid! :-)

John Giannotti - Actually according to historians Strauss and Howe the Boomers started in 1943. I don't know if they're right but at least one group recognizes your claim.

Posted by: Wayne on October 31, 2004 1:28 AM

Okay, I've been really getting deep into the realm of generational statuses for the past 4 years. I may have mentioned this on another message board and some of you may have read it. So forgive the broken recordedness. Up until 1999, I always thought of myself as an Xer. I read some of Douglas Coupland's theories on Gen X(chronologically: 1961-1980). Myself being a 78er, believed this, but I couldn't identify with being one because I hated grunge music, loved my parents, grew up with computers, and accessed the internet when I was 16. Blah blah, so on and so fourth. Anyways, I figured..."if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"...so I labeled myself an Xer too. Then in the summer of '99, I was at a party with some of my jazz ensemble friends and we got into a discussion about it when someone played a Stoned Temple Pilots CD. I responded that I wasn't into this and was scolded in counter-response. One of my friends who was two years older than me replied: "you're such an echo-boomer". I was confused and asked what the hell an echo-boomer was followed by the fact that I was born in 1978. She told me that an echo-boomer was a term to describe Generation Y and that's where I fell. Scratching my head, I asked how that is if Coupland said that the '61-'80 was where I fell. She started talking about birth rates and such, and that aroused my will to research this stuff. "So I'm NOT an Xer", I asked. She said that I'm a sort of mini-generation around 1977-1980, but I would be more in common with Gen Y because 1977 started the birth rate after the Vietnam War and climbed rapidly in 1982. So I was determined to do my homework to see where I was at. I won't go into all the many dates that end Gen X and starts Gen Y, but I feel that I do have more in common with Gen Y than Gen X, not just birth rates, but culturally, musically,socially and racially. My own little theory places me in Gen Y because I'm multi-racial. I am black, white(caucasion), and Italian, so I'm all mixed up. I know that there's many past generations of "Heinz 57" people, but I think that todays kids and young adults are getting more respect and notice for being culturally integrated than a bi-racial of the 1950s and '60s. I have even discussed this with my girlfriend, who was born in 1984, and she knew I was a Gen Yer, which is cool. There's so many theories out there and everyone has their own opinions, but I'm sticking to mine because, as many people say....how can you be in the same catagory as a 35 year old and have more in common with a 15 year old. It's so nerve racking to find the true meaning of generations. It's like searching for the word of God or the Holy freakin' Grail, but I'm content with my statement and maybe some out there will agree, but if you don't....hey, it's "all good", ya know? Well, let me know what you think and provide some insight and feedback. Peace out homies!

Posted by: Kissing_Booth_Hero on November 19, 2004 12:10 PM

I think we should all declare that the Millenial generation start for those born in 1982 and after. I think this is the way to go:

Gen X = 1965-1975
Gen Y = 1976-1981
Millenial = 1982 and on


I'm sorry...but I think most people in these age groups will agree. Most of the Gen Xers went to high school in the 80s, Yers in the 90s and Millenial in the 2000s. For some reason, I've noticed that what decade you went to high school is a BIG factor. My aunts, who I would say are Gen X and my sisters, who are millenial, have slightly different ideals and beliefs about things...while not completely different. We are, obviously, sandwiched in between X and millenial, so we can't help that. But, when it comes to pop culture, I would say I share a little bit with both, so I can't commit to one or the other. Is there anyone else out there who understands what I mean?

Posted by: Kristal on January 23, 2005 11:59 AM

I think part of the problem in identifying generations is that for a long time we looked at birth rates to determine the end of the baby boomers. looking at the cultural change that took place, a baby boomer born in 1948 had no common life experience with someone born in 1958 (my birth) Woodstock and Martin Luther King were not part of my generation. Disco and Watergate were. If you were born in my generation (1954-1964), you don't feel like a baby boomer, and you don't feel like an X-er. You are (ta-da!) a member of Generation Jones. A detailed argument a separate generation is at http://generationjones.com/files/weare/home1.htm.

I would also argue that one generation does not give birth to the next one, but the one after that. The GI generation gave birth to the baby boomers, the silent generation gave birth to the Jones generation, the baby boomers gave birth to generation X, and the Jones generation gave birth to generation Y, and generation X gave birth to the millenials. Think about your parents generation and your own and I bet most of you will find that fits.

Posted by: Chris on February 3, 2005 6:46 PM

so i've been reading this post, and i find myself wondering: with all this squabbling over who fits into what generation, what does it actually mean? i mean, what impact does it have on society to have a new generation come of age and all that jazz? or are the terms "baby boomers," and "gen 'x'ers," and "gen 'y'ers," just arbitrary names given out of boredom? why does it matter where the damned cut-off is?

Posted by: jiggity jared on February 26, 2005 12:33 AM

I was born in 1980 and let me tell you guys 99.9% of those born in 1980 will tell you that they are not related at all or don't have anything to do whit to gen x. We grew up as little kids knowing everything from atari to x-box and we still played video games today. We were the first in elementary school to star using the internet and the web at it's early developpment althougt they weren't so many website at that time. And we got in to the digital age before anyone born i would say after 1985. Remember the guy who invented napster was born in 1980 he's was the first to wrote the codes for the very first p2p file sharing at age 18. We had computer course in elementary school and knew everything from apple to windows. On the first day of the millenium everyone born between 1980 to 1989 we age between 10 and 19 years old ate the exception on those born january 1st. So basically i think we should be part of the millinium generation. I mean come on we are the one who buy dvd hdtv home pc and shop on ebay and other on-line sites.Try to find even 50% of those born 1964 to 1975 who shop online. Of course by saying this i'm also including in 2005 those born 1981 to 1989 cause everyone in the 80's can basically work now.

Posted by: Bryan on March 12, 2005 11:15 PM

I am 17 years old, and all the american youth today refer to theirselves as "Post-Moderns" The main thing i think people fail to realize is how fast we (youth) are able to communicate ideas today, and that we were raised by boomers, so we have that optimistic outlook on the future of the world. I think if the Boomers were able to commuicate ideas globably like we can today, the world would have been change even more dramatically.... in fact, there is talk among youth today that can involves social change, only the older generations don't hear this "talk" b/c it involves modern tecnology that they aren't as familar with...

Posted by: Fletcher on April 6, 2005 4:19 AM

I think whether one born in the early 60s defines oneself as a Boomer or an X-er depends as much on when ones parents were born as anything else. I was born in 1970 and am Generation X through and through. My parents were born in 1940 and 1942 respectively. They would recoil at the notion of being labeled "Boomers." They are very much members of the Silent Generation -- the beatniks -- and have passed along their don't-rock-the-boat-just-do-your-own-thing kind of value system to me. I have older friends who were born in 1961 and 1963 who I would also classify as being more X than Boomer because their parents were also members of the Silent Generation (born in 1942). In contrast, I think those Boomers whose parents fit better into the G.I. Generation will probably identify more with the Boomer label no matter what year they were born.

I also think it's important not to confuse people's political persuasions with generational identity. Early 60s born liberals will probably be tempted to identify themselves with the Boomer generation, but I think it has more to do with what we have in common culturally than politically. And I certainly know plenty of liberal X-ers, although I'm not one of them. ;o)

For the record, I would define the X Generation as beginning around the time of the assassination of President Kennedy and ending with the election of President Reagan, give or take several months. IOW, those born between 1963 and 1979 are X-ers. I definitely would be hard-pressed to extend the generation any further than that. I have another friend who was born in 1979 and I have far less in common with her than I do with my 1963 friend. I would consider the former Gen Y for sure.

Posted by: Erin on August 12, 2005 12:48 PM

I was born in 1978. I see more similarities between late 70s and early 80s than between early 70s and late 70s. I believe we are more than the "tail end" of Generation X. If 1978 is part of Generation X, it would
be a second half that experienced totally different things from the first half of Generation X (65-75). It would have it's own description, it's own icons or heroes, inventions, accomplishments, etc. It shouldn't be combined or generalized with the experiences of the first half.
I was a teenager in the 90s, which, if I remember, was anti-80s. The teenagers of the 90s were totally different from the teenagers of the 80s. An 80s teenager doing 80s things in the 90s would be out of place in every way. The police, classmates, and school made sure of it. I had a different mentality, different experiences, and a different world. I experienced the 90s in school. I was worrying about school related issues. Whereas I would think that the issues of the 90s defined who I was, determined my life or death, the first half of Generation X would probably blow off all my experiences as irrelevant, childish, stupid, unimportant, oh how cute, that's nice, etc. If so, I don't want to identify with the first half. Probably not even as Generation X. No offense, though. I could read or listen to stories of the 70s and 80s, but knowing about it and living through it is not the same thing. I can still wake up and forget about everything that happened in the past, but they can't. It's part of who they are. It's not a part of who I am, and I can live without those memories. For people born in the early 80s, I was there, I saw almost everyhing that they went through. All the games, music, tv shows, everything. I wasn't so old that I would dismiss all their experiences as unimportant. I felt I was part of it, and they were part of who I was.

Posted by: runb on August 27, 2005 1:58 PM

Hey, I have got a good question. Can anyone tell me why the baby boomers had 18 years and GenX has 10 and then Echo has 18 yrs. does anyone know why they change the times.

Posted by: Eric on September 1, 2005 6:50 PM

I think 55-65, 35-45, 75-85 are transition periods. This is where people either identify with either generation. Or some people are a mix of both. Since the transition period is where archetypes of the next generation start showing up and refuting the old ways, they should not be part of the preceding generation. 59-65, 39-45, 79-85 may have an easier time joining with the next generation, while 35-38, 55-58, 75-78 are left stranded.

Posted by: runb on September 2, 2005 10:00 PM

I was born in 1978 as well, and I would have to say that I DO NOT identify myself with Generation X. I believe the 1946-64-Boomer, 1966-76-X, and the 1977-94-Y theory because ever since I was misidentified with this rediculousness, I did some research. So to answer that Eric dude's question, it all boils down to birthrates, wars, ethics, morals, and culture. Each generation in the 20th century was influenced by factors dating back to the Spanish Flu of 1918, which the pandemic defied the human life expectancy by wide margins. If these factors, such as wars and other world events had not of influenced this country, our generation labeling would go without question and we'd be as traditional as generations before us all. In other words, the birthrate was very high in the late 40s and 50s. Then came the Vietnam War which reduced birthrates by 1964. Not until the end of the Gen X cycle, did the baby boom reflection start 1976 and 1977. So I agree with the above labeling because EVERY decade changed dramatically. For example: Politics, fashion, war, music and culture proved 1960 was nothing like 1969. 1970 was nothing like 1977. 1980 was nothing like 1983...so on. But earlier generations before the 20th century, went by birthrates and life expectancy. There was no such thing as cultural and politiacal labeling before 1900. Anyways, I know I will be viciously attacked on my theory, but that's what I believe, so deal with it. And going back to my opening statement about my not identifying with the X...I just don't see anything the an Xer stands for relates to me. I loved the 90s (minus grunge music)and hated the 80s, though I have opened up some parts of the 80s musically. So in closing I just wanted to through my 2¢ in the "pennies for everybody" tray and get my point through.

Posted by: 20/20 vijjion on October 10, 2005 2:15 AM

In 2010 the first of what I see as the 'First Generation Baby Boomers' - (Those Born Between 1940/45 - 1955, who were 25-40-years-old in 1980, also known as the Yuppies), will be 70 and some people say it will be the 'Begining of the End of an Era' and 'It's Time to Pop Open the Champagne Bottles - Because Then It Will Be Our Time To Take Charge'. But something tells me the 'Baby Boomers' wont retire quietly and will try to Hyjack the rest of the first half of the 21st Century and if they could the Last Half too. However 2025 should see the final end to the 'Baby Boomer Era', as the last of the 'First Generation Baby Boomers' will turn 70 and on their way to Witherdom... The 'Second Generation Baby Boomers' - (Born from 1956-1965), don't seem that bad, infact I tend to get along with those who are 8 to 17 years older than my self. It's the first lot who tend to put the younger generations down, well not all of them, but some... Anyway I'm thinking that 2025 will be a glorious time whatever people think about the dreaded 'Baby Boomers'... As a Mid-Young-Adult - (25-45-year-olds), I am proud of some of the achievements that the 'Baby Boomers' have accomplished and in away I do look up to some of them, as they are in their Middle-Age - (50-69) now, mature adults, my elders, and as Young OAPs - (70-89) I hope they will continue to have their fun, but not at our expense obviously and I even hope some of them make it to their Senior OAP years - (90-100+), but they have to let us have our chance to take charge, they can't Hyjack the 21st Century, that is Just NOT Fair... It is Bad Enough have to put up with those 'Student Adults' - (18-24-year-olds) and the Late-Young-Adults - (45-49-year-olds, who Moan and winge about becoming Middle-Aged and Elderly, when they can do that when they are Middle-Aged and Elderly) without 'them' stealing our chances... Besides this I wish them all the Best in their old age...

Posted by: David Hurt on October 11, 2005 11:40 AM

I was born in late 1963, to teen parents. My father was a vietnam vet and my grandfather was a WWII veteran. I was a latch key kid, was there for the start of MTV, rap, punk rock. Remember the moon landing (I was five) Suffered through disco, was not old enough to boogie and by the time I was AIDS shut the party down. So am I a boomer or gen-x?

Posted by: BoomerX on October 12, 2005 2:56 PM

I was born in late 1963, to teen parents. My father was a vietnam vet and my grandfather was a WWII veteran. I was a latch key kid, was there for the start of MTV, rap, punk rock. Remember the moon landing (I was five) Suffered through disco, was not old enough to boogie and by the time I was AIDS shut the party down. So am I a boomer or gen-x?

Posted by: BoomerX on October 12, 2005 2:58 PM

ë1st Generation ñ Baby Boomersí or ëTrue Baby Boomersí ñ (Who would have been 25ñ40-years-old in 1980, the main Business Men & Women, who would have mostly shaped the 1980s along side the Middle-Aged and the 41 to 49 year-olds at the time) ñ (Born from 1940 to 1955).

ë2nd Generation ñ Baby Boomersí or ëThe Hangers-oní or ëFollowers of the True Baby Boomersí or ëKling-onsí - (Born from 1956 to 1965).


Generation Xers ñ (Born from 1966 to 1982).


Generation Yís ñ (Born from 1983 to 1995).


ë1st Millennial Generationí or ëGeneration Zí or ëBlairís Kidsí ñ (Born from 1996 to 2010).

ë2nd Millennial Generationí ñ (Born from 2011 to 2030).

ë3rd Millennial Generationí ñ (Born from 2031 to 2050).

Generation Explore ñ (Born 2051 to 2100) ñ (Who will be 1-years-old to 50-years-old in 2101) ñ (This Generation will take us well into the 22nd Century and the Third Millennium ñ They will Explore the Outer Reaches of our Solar System and Beyond).

GOOD LUCK TO THEMÖ

Posted by: David Hurt on October 15, 2005 8:41 AM

In 2010 the first of what I see as the 'First Generation Baby Boomers' - (Those Born Between 1940/45 - 1955, who were 25-40-years-old in 1980, also known as the Yuppies), will be 70 and some people say it will be the 'Begining of the End of an Era' and 'It's Time to Pop Open the Champagne Bottles - Because Then It Will Be Our Time To Take Charge'. But something tells me the 'Baby Boomers' wont retire quietly and will try to Hyjack the rest of the first half of the 21st Century and if they could the Last Half too. However 2025 should see the final end to the 'Baby Boomer Era', as the last of the 'First Generation Baby Boomers' will turn 70 and on their way to Witherdom... The 'Second Generation Baby Boomers' - (Born from 1956-1965), don't seem that bad, infact I tend to get along with those who are 8 to 17 years older than myself. It's the first lot who tend to put the younger generations down, well not all of them, but some... Anyway I'm thinking that 2025 will be a glorious time whatever people think about the dreaded 'Baby Boomers'... As a Mid-Young-Adult - (25-45-year-olds), I am proud of some of the achievements that the 'Baby Boomers' have accomplished and in away I do look up to some of them, as they are in their Middle-Age - (50-69) now, mature adults, my elders, and as Young OAPs - (70-89) I hope they will continue to have their fun, but not at our expense obviously and I even hope some of them make it to their Senior OAP years - (90-100+), but they have to let us have our chance to take charge, they can't Hyjack the 21st Century, that is Just NOT Fair... It is Bad Enough have to put up with those 'Student Adults' - (18-24-year-olds) and the Late-Young-Adults - (45-49-year-olds, who Moan and whinge about becoming Middle-Aged and Elderly, when they can do that when they are Middle-Aged and Elderly) without 'them' stealing our chances... Besides this I wish them all the Best in their old age...

Posted by: David Hurt on October 16, 2005 8:24 AM

The Gen X\Y Story : Creation of an identity crises

By Wayne H.

Today there is a lot of confusion about who's X and who's Y, with each person with an opinion quoting one source and being rebuffed by another with their own information. Punch in the term Gen X or Y on the internet and you'll get starting dates anywhere from the late 50's through the mid 80's. This is a topic which has stirred up confusion, debate, and disagreement.

In a way you can say that it all began in 1964 when two important events took place. The first involved two authors named Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett when they published a book called "Generation X". It was a commentary on how teenage Baby boomers viewed life, as well as their lifestyles during that period.(1) Then between 1976 and 1981 rocker Billy Idol used the term as the name for his band.(1)

The second event was the result of 1964 being the last year of the demographic baby boom under 4 million(2). It wouldn't be until 1986 when for the first time since 1964, the number of live births exceeded 4 million, thus beginning what has been called the eccoboom and ending the so called baby bust. However it should be noted that the birthrate in America has never match those of the 65-71 since at least until 2000. (2)

In the early 90's two authors by the name of William Strauss and Neil Howe published a book called "Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069". In it they created the first post boomer generational divisions, theorizing that 1961 was in fact the beginning of a new generation which they called the "13rs" spanning between 1961 and 1981. Strauss and Howe carved out yet another generation called the Millennials. Their dating system was based on the reason that 1982 gave birth to the class of 2000, with the positive attention ushering in a new age in childhood development. (3)

Another book which came out during the early 90's was Douglas Coupland's "Generation X- Tales of an accelerated culture", a story about 3 twentysomethings determined to dropout of society's rat race. Although the general media was quick to use this term on the youth of that period, there is debate on whether it was meant to identify a generation at all. However there are indications that it was written for those born in the late 50's through the 60's, or roughly equaling what would later be known as "Generation Jones" created by Jonathan Pontell (1955-65)(4)(5). Whatever the case, this term has stuck and has become the most popular term for the post boomer generation.

In an attempt to reconcile Strauss and Howe's dating with the traditional end of the baby boomers, another popular dating system was created by using the beginning of the baby bust and the beginning of the Millennial generation (1965-81). There have also been numerous other datings and variations of the years that Generation X is supposed to span. The smallest is the 1965-75 (6) or 76 (7) span which is based on the continued lowering of live birth numbers that ended in 1975. Due to the variants of dating systems, only those born between 1966 and 73 can be considered modern "Core Xrs".

Then in 1993 a new term came into being - Gen Y. The term first appeared in a August 1993 edition of AdAge to describe those teenagers born between 1974 -1980. The marketing industry was quick to recognize this new line of 90's teenager after failing to understand 90's twentysomethings. However due to the prevailing trends in society these new Gen Y teenagers were considered an extension of the Gen X set of trends, or in other words, Y was a subset of X ( 8 )(9). As someone of this group (1976), I see us as the group which came of age during the 90's between the Brat Pack and Barney.

Quickly though the term's definition was applied to the next generation as another name for Strauss and Howe's Millennials. Others, in an attempt to compromise between the old and the new definitions then started to place it's boundaries between the late 70's and mid 90's when the number of births dipped yet again under 4 million in 1994 (2) Then political authors Scott Beale and Abeer Aballa stirred the mix even more when they claimed that 1976 was the beginning of the Millennial generation rather than 1982.(10)

Whatever it's boundaries, Gen Y has always been seen as the golden market both politically and financially (11)(12). That's because it is viewed as larger, less cynical, and in general has more disposable income then Gen X. Also since they are younger, marketers as well as politicians are courting this group because they want to foster a condition of brand loyalty that they hope will payoff in the long run. Some companies have even gone so far as to create products specifically designed for this age demographic. Toyota's Scion Xa and Xb line of cars is such a product (13). Since the 2004 elections there has been a strong push to recognize an 18 - 29 and 34 "generation" politically. And on August 1st, 2005, a new cable channel started by Al Gore named "Current TV" was launched to serve the 18-34 market, or what has been called "The Internet Generation"(14).

So in the end it's virtually impossible to try and put a distinct definition on what these terms mean. In reality these conceptual guesses are simply tools used by marketers and historians to accomplish their own goals. To try and segregate people on an individual level is folly because there are other numerous factors that both unite and separate us as humans.

Wayne M. H.

References-

(1) Wikipedia- Generation X: August 20 , 2005

(2) CDC report- Table 1-1. Live Births, Birth Rates, and Fertility Rates, by Race: United States,1909-2000

(3) William Strauss and Neil Howe Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069:Perennial; Reprint edition (September 1, 1992)

(4) Generation X: Tales of an accelerated culture: Douglas Coupland: St. Martin's Griffin; 1st ed edition (March 15, 1991)

(5) Wikipedia: Generation Jones

(6) Stephens Generation X Site

(7) Generation X Americans Born 1965 To 1976: by New Strategist : Publisher: New Strategist Pubns Inc Date: July 2004

( 8 ) Brandchannel.com: Dr. Pete Markiewicz: Who's filling Gen Y's shoe's?

(9) Gen X, Y or Z... kids are still kids: Ong Soh Chin: The Straits Times: March 8 2003

(10) Millennial Manifesto: Scott Beale and Abeer Aballa

(11) Generation Y already making it's mark : By Amy McRary, The Knoxville News-Sentinel

(12) The US Teen Consumer:Mintel International Group: May 2002


(13) In Search of Gen-Y: Toyota Thinks Young With Scion: By Mark Bilek: Consumer Guide© August 4, 2004

(14) Current TV Debuts Live Today: Forbes.com: PR Newswire

Wayne M.H. Copyright 2005

Posted by: Wayne H. on October 23, 2005 2:04 AM

I agree with Wayne, I think generations do exist, but it's not just the marketers who try to put boundaries. Its the people in core years like 1950 or 1970. I think they are so sure about who they are, so to them, it doesn't matter about the identity crisis that happens in between generations. But think again, a lot of important people are born in between these generations.

Posted by: runb on October 28, 2005 9:30 PM

I finally found a chart listing the number of births and birthrates for the years between 1909 and 2000! http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/statab/t001x01.pdf. Upon further investigation a number of 3 surprising facts emerge.
1- The "bust" didn't end until 1986
2- The so called "baby bust" and "echoboom" are upon further inspection , myths.
3- Strauss and Howe's theory about unwanted GenX children are false.

Here are a few things to get us started-
There are two categories to keep track of:
A-Birth number: Actual number of people born in a given year.
B- Birth rate: How people are having kids, or in other words, how popular it is to have
children.

BabyBoom: 18 year period between 1946 and 1964 that saw the highest birthrate ever recorded, between 24.1 and 21.7 %. The last year of 1964 recorded a population of 4.027 million born and a birthrate of 21.7%

Babybust: The decline of actual births and birthrates starting with 1965 which witnessed the first drop in actual births under 4 million with 3.760 million and a rate of 19.4

-------------------

1- The So called "Babybust" didn't end until 1986. That's when the year's actual birth number exceeded 1965's at 3.760. However 86's birthrate of 15.6 still did not match 65‚s birthrate of 19.4. The so called "Echoboom" didn't reach boom numbers until 1989 which only lasted until 1993 when the actual amount of births peaked over 4 million.

2- The Babybust and Echoboom are in reality just myths. Although one can look at the actual amount of births and see that there was indeed rises and falls after 1965, this when compared to the birthrate is shown to actually be an illusion. Although the bust is dated at between 1965 and 1975\76 the 65-71 period has never been matched by any year before 2000. It means that in 1971 it was more popular to have children than even during the height of the echoboom of 1990, which only had a rate of 16.7% as compared to 17.2%! So how can this be? Most likely the cause is the increased cumulative mass of native born parents added to by the increasing amount of new immigrants. Or in other words an example could be that 10% of 1000 (100) is more than 20% of 100 (5).

3- Strauss and Howe's observation of unwanted Xr children is called into question. A major part of their theory deals with how much more wanted and thus more civic their Millennial generation (1981-2001) are as compared to 13rs (X) because more people wanted them to be born.
Yet from this information we see that it was more popular to have children between 65-71 then it's ever been since.

Year--Born----B. Rate--Birthrate Comparison X=1% _______
1964- 4,027 ---21.1%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1965- 3,760 ---19.4%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1966- 3,606 ---18.4%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1967- 3,520 ---17.8%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1968- 3,501 ---17.6%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1969- 3,600 ---17.9%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1970- 3,731 ---18.4%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1971- 3,555 ---17.2%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1972- 3,258 ---15.6%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1973- 3,136 ---14.8%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1974- 3,159 ---14.8%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1975- 3,144 ---14.6%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1976- 3,167 ---14.6%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1977- 3,326 ---15.1%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1978- 3,333 ---15.0%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1979- 3,494 ---15.6%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1980- 3,612 ---15.9%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1981- 3,629 ---15.8%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1982- 3,680 ---15.9%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1983- 3,638 ---15.6%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1984- 3,669 ---15.6%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1985- 3,760 ---15.8%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1986- 3,756 ---15.6%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1987- 3,809 ---15.7%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1988- 3,909 ---16.0%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1989- 4,040 ---16.4%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1990- 4,158 ---16.7%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1991- 4,110 ---16.2%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1992- 4,065 ---15.8%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1993- 4,000 ---14.6%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1994- 3,952 ---15.0%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1995- 3,899 ---14.6%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1996- 3,891 ---14.4%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1997- 3,880 ---14.2%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1998- 3,941 ---14.3%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
1999- 3,959 ---14.2%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
2000- 4,058 ---14.4%= XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Posted by: Wayne76 on November 12, 2005 11:43 PM

GJ Wayne! NTK that SH is wrong. 1MT, this regards the X/Y gap: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTV_Generation

Posted by: Runb on December 10, 2005 4:41 AM

I don't totally disagree with Strauss and Howe's theory, just some of their conclusions. Their idea is based on one of the theories of Sociology called the Cyclical.

To be honest the whole generation situation over at the Wikipedia seems to be somewhat of a mess. Although what the author seems to be describing is a wave or cusp, I and even Mark Y to some extent do not agree with the dating system. Also I don't believe that MTV is an cultural icon exclusive to this period.

Ultimatly the situation over at Wikipedia is an example of how ridiculous this discussion is becoming. I came across a great article showing the dangers that this artifical segregation is developing.

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2005/s1508963.htm

Saying that, I thank you for your compliments. This has been one interesting journey since I first posted here a couple years ago. Since then I've joined two related forums and briefly had one of my own, made friendships, learned how to research and write basic essays, and find myself with a message to tell.

Yet, even from here it's clear that my journey is far from concluding.

Sincerly, Wayne

Posted by: Wayne H. on December 17, 2005 1:00 AM

I am NOT a boomer. I refuse that designation, because it doesn't fit. Both of my grandfathers fought in WWII. My parents were born in 1945 and 1946, clearly Boomers. However, according to the media, my siblings and I are technically called boomers too--simply because we were born in 1961, 1962, and 1963. (Yes, my parents were teenagers when they married and had children.) But I refuse to accept the premise that someone born in the forties is the "same" generation as someone born in the sixties. I mean, come on! Like others have said here, I grew up on The Brady Bunch and Starsky & Hutch, NOT "The Honeymooners" or black and white TV. I got my own apartment in the mid-1980's, not the sixties. My husband was born just four years earlier than me, and his father didn't fight in WWII either. Our generation got lumped in with the boomers, but we don't fit, we don't relate. I thought it was outrageous when I was 24 that I was "supposedly" in the same group as my parents--and now, marketers want to say those of us in our early 40s are all part of the same group as those who are 60! Twenty years is too big a stretch. That's why I'm glad someone like Jonathan Pontell started a movement to call our lost generation "Generation Jones." I don't like the name (doesn't resonate with me), but at least someone recognizes we got skipped between Boomers and Gen X'ers. Actually, I feel like my youngest brother and sister (twins) born two years after me fit the Gen X'er profile psychologically. Candidly, I don't feel I fit the Gen X profile. But I vehemently deny belonging to the boomers. That would be my parents, not me. Thank you, Thaddeaus and Chris, for your informative posts here defining this experience for the rest of us.

Posted by: Kimn on December 31, 2005 10:27 AM

What year were you born? According to the theory by Struass and Howe, the Boomers spanned socially from 1943 to 1960. I'm not sure if they are correct or not since I'm not anywhere near that age group, but it is an alternative view.

Looking at the conflict between what can be called the "Aquarian" and "Joneser" age groups, it was one of the major reasons why it became clear to me that a generation is way too unwieldy to be defined by pop culture.

Posted by: Wayne H. on January 4, 2006 2:03 AM

Boomer-X, I was born in 1964 and never felt like a mainstream Boomer nor a mainstream X'er. I was talking with my brother-in-law who was born in 1961 a few years back. We came to the conclusion that we are a lost generation.. After a few beers we came up with a few names, Generation FaB(Free Bird), Generation SWeeT Hemp(Stairway to Heaven) or Generation Hard Core (Hotel California).. Now we have been found and are known as Generation Jones???? I like my names better. :)

Posted by: BeenThereDoneThat on January 7, 2006 1:34 PM

I was born in 1980, myself. I suppose I'm a bit like the "Generation Jones" folks. I'm definitely not Generation X, and I'm not part of the Millenials, or whatever they end up calling themselves. I'll bet there's about a two or three year transitionary period between any of the major groupings, where people have a chance to both look back and look ahead. Look back, to see what the excesses of the previous generation were, but look ahead to see what new problems are going to bother us for the next 20 years.

Posted by: James on January 19, 2006 11:37 AM

I was born in 1960, and don't consider myself a baby boomer. Too young to protest Vietnam, don't remember JFK's assasination [I was 3], and I have a blurry flash of 'Woodstock' [I think] from seeing it on TV.

My own experience with 'generations' comes from college and grad school experiences where professors who came of age in the 60s [in their 30s by then] couldn't figure 'us' out. I remember almost exasperation from some college professors who could not figure 'us' out. Why were 'we' so silent, compared to them in the 60s? Why did we not PROTEST?? Why were we just interested in money and getting an MBA or JD [shades of LA Law]?? Why were we not wearing flowers, or smoking pot?? I remember this in the press at the time, the wonderment at this 'new generation' who settled down, and wore prep clothing [gasp, even becoming Republicans some of us]

My other experience of generations came from graduating into a different world, the Reagonomics of the 80s. The prosperity ride of earlier 60s and mid 70s was over, and we faced high unemployment and reduced job opportunities [the reason, so many went for those MBAs].

We were slackers before the term was invented -- most of us without grad degrees had McJobs, before we knew the term. We all just thought we were losers, and made the wrong choices in college, without someone telling us it wasn't a bad thing, but really just cool, to be unemployed.

As far as names, baby buster was a term that came up in the early 80s, when it became apparent that the prosperity ride was over for the country, and those who came out in the workforce beginning in '80, found reduced job opportunities, and those in the descending curve of that birth rate, would probably face a different scenario than those of the 60s. I could live with that term, and I think it's accurate -- the birth rate went down, beginning in 1957.

Generation X, eh, the whole 'generation' seems to have been invented by marketers. If it begins at exactly 12 am, January 1, 1961, for example, then if you were born 11:59 pm, December 31, 1960, you are a boomer? Such arbitrary cut offs don't really work. But it works for those who want to create a 'cool group' such as marketers for products and companies, this illusion of an exclusive 'group' one joins by one's birth year, is just another way to market products. The real boundaries between generations are much more fuzzy.

Posted by: carolyn oldham on January 31, 2006 4:08 AM

There is also a cusp between the Silents and Boomers

Posted by: runb on January 31, 2006 10:46 PM

Wayne, that's because MTV became more widely disseminated outside the US in the 90s (as opposed to the 80s when it was restricted only to the rich) and I've been outside the US and it seems MTV has started its own cultural invasion in these countries making children very different from their own native backgrounds and more unified worldwide. Wikipedia is geared towards the international audiences, so, its destined to disagree with Americans. 1978/77 are different probably because of the smaller waves, such as mid70s-77, 78-83, 84-mid 80s. I notice 1977 is also similar to many people born in 1979, 1981, 1983 in that they don't identify with Y. 1978 is more similar to people born in 76, 80, 82, 84 in that they don't identify with X. We're not necessarily in opposition, but two points of view of who we can't claim to be having grown up during the same time.

Posted by: runb on January 31, 2006 11:07 PM

The real 'cool group' is Generation Jones.

Posted by: r430nb on January 31, 2006 11:13 PM

I do agree with your observation about different years identifying with different generations. For some strange reason generational identity seems to alternate between years, as if like the teeth of a saw.

Posted by: Wayne on February 2, 2006 11:16 PM

Cool, you agree, but this is stuff that only 76 and 78ers know about. The rest of the world will just have to be ignorant and call us Gen X due to their limited brain capacity.

Posted by: r430nb on February 5, 2006 1:56 AM

Oops, please excuse me (I'm in a bad mood) what I meant to say was that 76ers and 78ers have no influence on how society sees us because they have their minds made up about us. So, forget about society and if we end up unemployed because of their ignorant constructs, then that's their loss. The only influence we have is how we see ourselves and to not let Gen X convince us that we are just xerox copies of them, or even worse, that we are inferior to them. There is no future for us in Gen X, it's just a dead end. I think it is cool that at least one person from 76 is here representing because for a while I thought 76 was part of X, which would really suck if it did. Though, I am not refering to Gen Y because it's too controversial.

Posted by: r430nb on February 5, 2006 2:19 AM

In addition, I love 78ers like my own bros/sis, but I have to tell the truth due to the false image that society thinks 78ers are good people - they don't. I know you guys are trying to be good and everything, but it's pretty hard for 1978 to be part of Generation Y because society imposes the dirty slutty "street" image on us rather than the wholesome clean image that they put on 80s people. I don't mean to depress or degrade you guys, but only to tell the truth. Society thinks 78ers are all a bunch of sex crazed drug addict thugs out in the back alley scheming to do something that they've been trained to do since birth. All of these famous people from 1978 perpetuate this image because that's what society wants them to do, they need it, they want us to do it like how they imagine us being because it titilates them. (Note: I don't know if Ashton Kutcher is really from 78 or not, but he also perpetuates the image)
So, Let society see us like that, but not believe in the lies they put on us. Keep doing what you think is right despite all that bad news.

Look at all of these teenagers out there now, you don't see people calling the cops on them, but when we were teenagers, they were calling the cops on us 24 hours a day. And as for helicopter parents, well, they just didn't believe in that type of parenting back then, not that they were bad parents, but it just wasn't thought as the right thing do. Though, we love our parents.

These teenagers and preteens probably see us in a bad light as well and couldn't give a damn what we've experienced growing up. I notice that they draw the boundary somewhere in the early 80s as well. They see no value or similarity in us. Why would 78ers want to belong to a group that thinks like that? I'm sorry, I just had to do that because you guys were asking for it, saying you were from Gen Y. It's better me telling you, rather than some random Gen Y person from late 80s/early 90s.

Posted by: runb on February 5, 2006 11:41 PM

Generation Jones has a much greater influence and impact on 78ers than Gen X.

Posted by: runb on February 8, 2006 8:56 PM

I feel the need to update you on the more current timeline regarding demographic groups born in Canada after 1945.

Demographic Era: Baby Boom
Subgroups/Nicknames: Boomers, Yuppies, Dinks(yuppie subgroup), Generation X (or Gen-Xers)
Born: 1945 to 1966, Gen-Xers specifically: 1960 to 1966

Demographic Era: Baby Bust
Subgroups/Nicknames: Twentysomethings
Born: 1967 to 1979

Demographic Era: Echo Boom
Subgroups/Nicknames: Generation Y, Echo Kids, Puppies (Yuppie children)
Born: 1980 to 1995

Demographic Era: Yet un-named....
Subgroups/Nicknames: Generation Z, Millennium Kids
Born: 1996 to approxamately 2010

This information comes from my class text book, "Transitions in Society, The Challenge of Change", Oxford University Press Canada, 2002. I hope this clears up some things for you.
With Deepest Regards,
An Enlightened Echo Boomer (@ age 22 no less)

Posted by: Tarah S. on February 9, 2006 10:40 PM

Peer Groups-
Well just for the official record I see my generation lasting from the mid 60's thru mid 80's, which is the same length as every other generation. Yet each one has at least two major cultural divisions like the GI's Interbellum\Greatest, Beat's Swing\Rocker and the Boomers Aquarian\Jonesers waves. And if history follows this pattern might record X and Y as cultural waves of the same biological generation.

We are in fact different from the core Xrs who came of age in the 80's and the kids who are coming of age today. Actually as I've stated earlier, the grouping that seems to describe our peer group best is sometimes noted as "the boomlet" between 76-81.

Boomer Waves

The Aqaurians have generally been the authority figures (parents,aunts and uncles,teachers,ect)in my life and thus my general relationships with them are more serious. My relationship with Jonesers are more often peerlike and thus more open.

Canada

Canada is very interesting in generational studies for at least two reasons. First, Canadian author Douglas Coupland is said to have invented the current Generation X identity. However he was actually describing Jonesers (late 50's and early 60's) wanting to drop out of the "Yuppie" lifestyles. Second, they have another term for Generation called the "Nexus Generation". The name meaning the generation that serves as a link between the industrial and informational ages.

Posted by: Wyn76 on February 12, 2006 1:29 AM

Thank you Enlightened Echo Boomer and Wyn76. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I think these definitions should change, as it ignores human nature and the viewpoints of people born near the boundary of each generation. When I was you're age, I didn't have a problem until I realized what image they were putting on me. So, you can give me a Fail. You're right, in reality, in the long run, we will come to be known as Xers, but that won't stop me from forever condemning Gen X and Gen Y for creating a false image of us, pulling our group (75-85) apart and turning us against one another just for their own desire to make their own generations seem bigger and more important. So, I will never refer or embrace either as "my" generation. Classificaitons change nothing. 1978 is one of the most distant years from either X or Y preventing us from truly having any geniune understanding of what it is like to be from either generation. This probably sounds dumb, I know, but cusps are like islands in the middle of a great ocean because they are distant, small, and largely irrelevant to what happens in larger populated countries. who cares whether the islands are classified as part of some big powerful country. Classificaitons do not change the fact that they are still islands out in the middle of the ocean. Because we are so distant, the only understanding we can have of generations is through TV, the internet, and stereotypes - Media constructed images which are far from the truth. We lack real meaningful connection. I know 1978 is not important to this whole generational debate because what we do and what we have been through doesn't really represent any generation. I could be stereotyping, but that's what I've seen. So, I say we should just enjoy where we are from, and meanwhile, they should change it so generations skip the years around the boundary rather than segregating them apart, and only mention core years, like 65-75, 85-95.

Posted by: runb on February 16, 2006 1:38 AM

Dear Runb:
"but that won't stop me from forever condemning Gen X and Gen Y for creating a false image of us, pulling our group (75-85) apart and turning us against one another just for their own desire to make their own generations seem bigger and more important."

You don't know how long I've been waiting to hear someone say that. The biggest heartache in this line of study is when I've had is when someone artifically draws a line between us 90's kids. The major reason I've concluded that "they" do this is pad the group that "they" are dealing with.

My intention of my last letter wasn't to officially assign the 75-85ish wave to either GenX or GenY. In fact I never really name what as I see as the 65-85 generation. That's because I'm still trying to define what these terms mean beyond the popdefinitions, and have often found conflicting observations.

In reality I breakdown these social groups into waves and cusp because I have found the concept of generations really too big and cumbersome. Each wave has it's distinct style, and cusps serve as handy bridges between them.

I have much more to say but it's getting very late. Til then, keep the faith Runb.
-Wyn

Posted by: Wyn76 on February 16, 2006 3:40 AM

Continuing on the topic of cultural waves, I have a theory as to why the line between socalled X and Y (or even Millennial) is more often hotly debated to lie within our wave.

Strauss and Howe bring up the concept of Dominate and Recessive generations. While each generation is supposed to have it's own unique flavor, some over shadow others. And I believe this concept applies to waves as well. Our wave lies between two more dominate spans. Because of this, experts unsuccesfully try to draw lines in between to seperate the influences of the 80's youth and today's. Other recessive waves include the Interbellum (caught between the Lost and Greatest),Swing (totally overshadowed by the Greatest and forgotten by the Rocker) and the Jonesers who's experiences are almost completely ignored by the media in favor of the Aquarians.

------

" the only understanding we can have of generations is through TV, the internet, and stereotypes - Media constructed images which are far from the truth. We lack real meaningful connection."

" Society thinks 78ers are all a bunch of sex crazed drug addict thugs out in the back alley scheming to do something that they've been trained to do since birth. All of these famous people from 1978 perpetuate this image because that's what society wants them to do, they need it, they want us to do it like how they imagine us being because it titilates them. "

----

And this addresses one of the most important issues I have come across in my studies since coming here so long ago. It's one thing to have an age based identity to showcase the unique times one's peers lived through. However it has also come to represent and serve a darker side of human nature.

In a lot of ways the focus on generations has enabled a new legalized bigotry. People are individuals and are only responsible for what they do, not what they were born.Anyone who judges someone simply because they were born in 1978, 1949, or 2003 is a bigot.

From what you've wrote, I know and have gone through a lot of what you have as well. I have the feeling we both dislike wholesale labeling and don't want to be measured by others standards.

Here is a little peace of mind I can give to a fellow traveler. The next time someone wants to make a point about you generationally, ask this question to the person or yourself. What's is this person's ultimate goal or point? Are they so different (or better) then we are? Don't let other's negitive stereotypes define who you are as an individual.

Hope this helps-
Sincerly, Wyn

Posted by: Wyn76 on February 17, 2006 3:02 AM

I agree with the recessive theory, but I know I may have been blunt or wrong in my words, but to be silent and just let them put words in our mouth is so wrong. So I'll try not to seem so offensive. Generations are ok for describing the past century and when everything is done and said, but none of us have even lived that long or have made a lasting effect on the world. This is not helping us, and as one person put it, it's probably making things worse. It's creating barriers and false unreasonable expectations or political views that would otherwise not be here. In order of importance 1) it matters more what future generations will think of us and will call us so leave it to them to describe us, 2) then it matters what we think of ourselves so give us a chance to talk about ourselves and what matters to us which will explain to future generations why we did what we did, 3) then least least of all, what past generations (Gen X) think of us. I don't know where Gen X gets the authority/nerve to even represent who we are (75-85) when I even have a problem understanding 1977 and 1979ers. By Gen X representing us, they are preventing us from talking about ourselves. So, I think even though we are recessive, we should care least about/ignore whatever Gen X thinks, or says about us, make our own records of who we are for future generations, and not be recessive. Though, I think the 79-84 group will never come to truly realize the deep affinity we have for them even though there is no other group that has ever been so real/sincere/honest to them as us, not even the late 80s. Our group, for now, is restricted to 75-78. I have to drop out for a while and get over it. They'll always be too young to understand us and will never see what binds us in the inside. I'm becoming shady from this generational haze, I need to drop out.

Posted by: r430nb on February 18, 2006 4:58 PM

Hey, if anyone knows the frustrations you're going through, it's me. It ain't easy suddenly finding yourself automatically labled, your experiences reassigned to another "generation", and some of your peers distancing themselves from you. The best and hardest thing a person can learn in this whole mess is to learn how to "not take it home with them". Or in other words, don't let it effect you're personal life.

Sincerly, Wayne

I totally agree with you viewpoint that our mid 70's to mid 80's wave is unique. Like you I've never felt comfortable aligning myself totally with one generation over the other.

But one thing that is both unique and troublesome is that our wave seems to be a Nexus between the two. That's why you can have someone born in 78 feel more akin to GenY and someone born in 84 who totally identifies and calls himself Gen X.

So maybe in effect all this confusion (which is half of the original posted question) is about our wave after all. Maybe they'll stop trying to divide us in an atempt to define X and Y's influence. Maybe then they realize that the influence of the two is actually what defines us as a whole.

Don't worry, sounds like you're on the right track after all. If anything you cause makes a lot more sense then other experts and concepts.

Posted by: Wyn76 on February 20, 2006 11:53 PM

Sorry for the weird placing of my closing after the first paragraph, it wasn't supposed to be there.

Posted by: Wyn76 on February 20, 2006 11:59 PM

Thanks alot Wyn76, hey, who knows, maybe we'll have a parallel of "Jonathan Pontell" who will do a demographic study and prove once and for all that we are a separate group. Here, give me a billion dollars for a second! Anyways, whenever I look at Generation Jones, I hear them talking about how they want to be part of Gen X or how they are ashamed of the name "Jones" and I may not know as much about what they've been through or what they're thinking and they may even hate my guts, but to me, they are a real separate group that exists. I see a noticeable and significant between Gen Jones and Gen X, and I think they should be proud of their identity. They don't know how lucky they are. Man, I wish I were from Gen Jones, I would've had a great time just knowing them. BTW, 1MT Wyn, have you noticed the term Indigo http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indigo_children - I swear I knew nothing about it until now, but when you said "don't let it effect you're personal life" I thought ADD (Attention Deficit) for some reason, and one way or another I found indigo children in my search, which I'm skeptical of (supposedly, we have "auras" which is spooky) and, even though I think I have ADD based on my research just now, I'm definitely not like any of that they describe in their list, though I have seen a lot of people like that growing up. WDYT? But thanks, I appreciate your help in a lot of ways. I'm really shocked that a well known expert to these generational forums, acknowledges and agrees with me - that doesn't come along too often.

Posted by: runb on February 25, 2006 10:32 AM

Well known expert? You don't mean me do ya? haha! It really wasn't my intention to try and be a know it all in this field, just to define the what, how, and why of a age based identity.

There's a rough hierarchy of age groups I've found handy during my little studies. For a 76r like me it starts at my cohort of 76, then mini span of 76-81, the wave of mid 70's to mid 80's and then Generation of mid 60's to mid 80's. But even this is watered down by other factors such as age location, upbringing, and personal preference.

As for ADD I have personally noticed that it seems to be a distinct problem of the postBoomers. For us having ADD appears to be the rule and not the exception. One theory is that we are conditioned this way. How many of us are multitasked in are youth by working with many electronical devices all at once. Sometimes I'll have both the TV and Radio while working on the computer. It may be that we are being driven to distraction. This could be dangerous, being too busy to formulate our own ideas and instead having to download others prepackaged thoughts.

Posted by: Wayne on March 5, 2006 12:49 AM

Hi runb.

I made a post earlier this year, which looks foolish compared to yours' and others' posts :).

That was a true story and is how I felt when I was eighteen way back in 1982, long before I had a family.

I do feel that the Generation Jones is totally different from the Boomers and the X'ers. Finally the media has caught on to it as well. (mostly because the Boomers aren't spending as much money as they use to, as many are retiring).

"The Ivy League‚s Yale University now teaches Generation Jones in a course called: „Managing a Multiple Generation Workforce‰, which addresses: „the three prevailing workplace generations: Baby Boomers, Generation Jones, and Generation X‰. Many Universities in the U.S. and abroad now include Generation Jones in their curriculum"

I think the problem you'll have in getting your in-between generation recognized, will be a population issue of the years you want as the new generation. I'm pulling for you all the way, because I think ten years is a good cut off for any generation in today's mass media.

That being said.
I think Wyn76 said it best: "Here is a little peace of mind I can give to a fellow traveler. The next time someone wants to make a point about you generationally, ask this question to the person or yourself. What's is this person's ultimate goal or point? Are they so different (or better) then we are? Don't let other's negitive stereotypes define who you are as an individual"

The events of your life change who you become not a timeline made up by corporate media.

Good Luck..

Posted by: BeenThereDoneThat on March 7, 2006 11:21 AM

The generational progression closely mirrors Elliot Wave theory in stock market timing. The GI generation was born between around 1900 and 1930, the silent generation was born between around 1930 and 1940 (depression babies), the Baby Boomers were between around 1940 and 1970, Gen X from 1970-1981 or 82 and Gen Y from 1982 to a little past 2010.

As far as dominant and recessive generations, the GI and Gen Y are dominant generations, the Silent Generation and Gen X are recessive, and the Baby Boomers are neutral.

To relate to Elliot Wave, each generation represents the following:

GI Generation- Phase 1, building phase
Silent Generation- Phase 2, storing phase
Baby boomers- Phase 3, transforming phase
Gen X- Phase 4, reaping phase
Gen Y- Phase 5, Growing phase

The generations, like Elliot Wave, are fractal. Right now we are in the middle of the following phase:

Phase 2 (Dark Ages)/Phase 5 (since American Revolution)/Phase 3 (since 1900 or end of Victorian age)/Phase 5 (since 1981 and until around 2010)

Around 2010, we will begin a 30-year Phase 4 which will be like the 1970's on steroids

Posted by: hondah on March 7, 2006 10:43 PM

ey, BeenThereDoneThat, I really appreciate that. You know what, I think you're the first person from Gen Jones that's openly recognized us as a group, thank you. You gotta know that we are similar and we're going through that right now. So, even if it was in the past, it's still relevant. We're also lost, like rabbits zipping between X and Y, nobody can put em all in one place. I never forgot your post because it was interesting. I never knew that someone from 64 and 61 actually took time out to talk about their own generation in 1982. You guys thought about it that much. Usually, this is something done by people who are detached from society in their scientific laboratory or doing statistical data analysis. I also never knew that someone from 64 would want to believe in Gen Jones since they were right on the border with Gen X. I thought maybe they'd only want to identify with the 59-64 group rather than the 54-58 group. So, if maybe someone from 58 or 54 wanted to join in your conversation in 1982, you wouldn't really identify with them fully. Or maybe you're like Wyn76, who identifies with several groups: Generation Jones, Generation X, and 1960-64. I'll make my own groups, too, but I can't belong to 65-75. Those were nice names, seriously. I like Generation Hard Core, I'll use that from now on. But, yeah, Wyn76 is good, I've got to stop these problems. It's adding on to my generational confusion, turning things upside down. Yup, we are a distracted generation. There's nothing we can do about it lest we get disconnected from one another.

Posted by: runb on March 12, 2006 3:50 PM

BeenThereDoneThat, Don't think your earlier post was foolish. You had more authority since you were actually talking about your own generation and not anybody else's.

Posted by: runb on March 12, 2006 4:13 PM

Waves

This is a model I've constructed and use on a personal basis. It's based on general observation using the common dating system of several known generations, as well as several earlier wave concepts. I've left their boundaries intentionally vague rather than trying to officially define them. Waves are not generally meant to mean the same as generations, but rather either divisions in the generations themselves or as more accurate units to measure cultural history. There is great debate about what constitutes certain generations because they are often too unwieldy to measure small changes in pop culture.

Early 1900's to 1910's - (Interbellum Generation)
Although considered a part of the "GI Generation", these people were generally too young to have fought in WW1 and too old to be the fresh faced youths of WW2. Instead they came of age during the wild and roaring 20's, whose youth was more in line with the older "Lost" generation. They spent the majority of their prime years during the Great Depression, and by the time WW2 came along they were in their 30's and 40's. Their roles during that period were more as farmers, construction workers, mid level officers and senior NCO's of that war.
Ages 2006 - Mid90's to Mid 100's
Children: Swing and Rocker Waves

1910's to Mid 1920's - (Greatest Generation)
These are the young legendary heroes that joined in mass to fight the Germans and Japanese during WW2. Later in life they brought forth one of the greatest lines of Presidents from Kennedy to Bush Sr.
Ages: 2006- Early 80's to Mid 90's
Children: Rocker and Aquarian Waves

Mid 20's to Mid 30's - (Swing Kids, Early Beat and Silent ,Traditionalist)
In general they were too young to fight in WW2 yet came of age before the birth of Rock and Roll, thus falling in between the two era‚s. Their greatest effect on society would be in the realm of social awareness, including Martin Luther King.
Ages 2006- Early 70's to Early 80's
Children: Aquarian and Joneser Waves

Mid 30's to Mid 40's - (Rocker Wave, Late Beat and Silent, Beatniks)
Producing artist like Elvis, The Beatles, Jimi Hendricks and Bob Dylan, this wave essentially invented Rock and Roll and changed modern society.
Ages 2006- Early 60's to Early 70's
Children: Joneser and Core X waves

Mid 40's to Mid 50's - (Aquarian Wave, Mods )
The flower children who sought to bring the world peace, love, and harmony through celebrations like the Summer of Love and Woodstock. Today they have produced the current wave of US presidents including Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr.
Ages 2006- Early 50's to Early 60's
Children: Core X and Late X waves plus some of the Echobust wave due to delayed parenting.

Mid 50's to Mid 60's - (Generation Jones, Late Boomer, Early X)
Although traditionally considered late Baby Boomers, they were too young to participate in the social movements of the late 60's and early 70's. Instead they came of age during the days of Disco, Punk, and early New Wave. This group has been popularized on TV in "That 70's show" and Douglas Coupland's Generation X- Tales of an accelerated culture.
Ages 2006- Early 40's to Early 50's
Children: Late X and EchoBoom waves

Mid 60's to Mid 70's - (Core X, Baby Buster) The band of "Brat Packers" and "Friends" who came of age during most of the 80's and early 90's. Some would denounce modern society through the Grunge movement while others would embrace it as the neoyuppies of the internet bubble.
Ages 2006- Early 30's to Early 40's
Children: Echoboom and Echobust waves

Strauss and Howe Alternative: 1961- 1971 Atari Wave

Mid 70's to Mid 80's - ( Late X, Early or Original Y, the MTV generation)
Born during the "boomlet" of the mid 70's to the mid 80's, they had the distinction of spending their youth during the turn of the Millennium. Today they are the core of soldiers fighting in the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq, including football player 76r Pat Tillman who died in Afghanistan.
Ages: Early 20's to Early 30's
Children: Echobust and ? wave

Strauss and Howe Alternative: 1972-1981 Nintendo Wave

Mid 80's to Mid 90's - (EchoBoom, Core Y or Millennials)
These are the true children of the echoboom that ran from the mid 80's to the mid 90's. With the oldest still in college and in high school, it is still to early to truly size this group up in 2006.
Ages: Tweens to Early 20's

Mid 90's to Mid 00's? - (EchoBust, Late Y, Gen Z, Early Homelanders)
Born during what may be the eccobust of the mid 90's, these children will be the first under a pot 911 world, as well as never really having any memories of the last century and Millennium
Ages 2006- Children

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greatest_Generation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interbellum_Generation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTV_Generation
http://generationjones.com/index_old.htm
http://home.comcast.net/~nhprman/genxintro.htm

Posted by: Wayne H. on March 16, 2006 11:51 PM

Really good stuff, Wayne, but the war, I hope it ends. I saw a book called "Generation Kill" by Evan Wright, which makes reference directly to the "Greatest Generation." I keep on forgetting that here in America in WWII, we didn't know what really went on oversees except for what we see in the newspapers, all romance, http://www.godspy.com/reviews/Into-Iraq-With-Generation-Kill-An-Interview-with-Evan-Wright-by-Angelo-Matera.cfm but for other countries, regular everyday people/kids/babies walking in the streets were blasted away and burned. It was bloody. Those guys in Iraq War have it pretty rough.

Posted by: runb on March 19, 2006 12:47 AM

Yeah, without getting into all the politics, I've changed some views since it all began. It isn't too late, but I just hope certain actions are taken before Iraq becomes our generation's Vietnam.

Posted by: Wayne H on March 19, 2006 1:05 AM

It's been 3 years. Now I understand how Japanese civilians knew nothing about what was going on outside of Japan during WWII except what the Emperor was telling them. They still don't know how much pain/suffering they caused. It's not their fault, I understand now, I forgive them.

Posted by: runb on March 19, 2006 1:42 AM

It's not the soldiers I'm criticizing, it's not their fault either, it's the Government and the top people giving the orders. We're all controlled like puppets.

Posted by: runb on March 19, 2006 2:51 AM

Hey Baby Boomers,
I NEED YOUR HELP!
Im doing a project on you guys and i need to answer a few questions!
I was wondering if you could help me understand why the language you used as teenagers was so dramatically different from that used by teenagers ever before, and what influenced you to use the language that you did!
I hope you can help me,
Thanks heaps
Catherine
xoxo

Posted by: Catherine on May 21, 2006 1:22 AM

ok so this whole generation thing, im lost. i thoght that generation x was within the main music of that era.ie grunge. i thoght it ended with the death of that music. i meen i was born in 1988, and yeah i know that meens im not exactly old anogh to remeber the 80's haha, i damn shure remeber all of the 90's.so if gen-x ended in 1980, then im in y? gen-y is the dumbest thing. gen-x was gen x because of the music,and negativeity. i thoght that once all of that ended THATS when gen-x stoped. since i was alive and concious of my surounding during that time , why am i not x?

Posted by: theunknownspeaker on May 24, 2006 4:44 PM

In 2010 the first of what I see as the 'First Generation Baby Boomers' - (Those Born Between 1940/45 - 1955, who were 25-40-years-old in 1980, also known as the Yuppies), will be 70 and some people say it will be the 'Begining of the End of an Era' and 'It's Time to Pop Open the Champagne Bottles - Because Then It Will Be Our Time To Take Charge'. But something tells me the 'Baby Boomers' wont retire quietly and will try to Hyjack the rest of the first half of the 21st Century and if they could the Last Half too. However 2025 should see the final end to the 'Baby Boomer Era', as the last of the 'First Generation Baby Boomers' will turn 70 and on their way to Witherdom... The 'Second Generation Baby Boomers' - (Born from 1956-1965), don't seem that bad, infact I tend to get along with those who are 8 to 17 years older than myself. It's the first lot who tend to put the younger generations down, well not all of them, but some... Anyway I'm thinking that 2025 will be a glorious time whatever people think about the dreaded 'Baby Boomers'... As a Mid-Young-Adult - (25-45-year-olds), I am proud of some of the achievements that the 'Baby Boomers' have accomplished and in away I do look up to some of them, as they are in their Middle-Age - (50-69) now, mature adults, my elders, and as Junior Pensioner's or JP's for short - (70-89) I hope they will continue to have their fun, but not at our expense obviously and I even hope some of them make it to their Young OAPs - (90's) and Senior OAP - (100+) years, but they have to let us have our chance to take charge, they can't Hyjack the 21st Century, that is Just NOT Fair... It is Bad Enough have to put up with those 'Student Adults' - (18-24-year-olds) and the Late-Young-Adults - (45-49-year-olds, who Moan and whinge about becoming Middle-Aged and Elderly, when they can do that when they are Middle-Aged and Elderly) without 'them' stealing our chances... Besides this I wish them all the Best in their old age...

Posted by: David Hurt on June 13, 2006 2:41 PM

Œ1st Generation ˆ Baby Boomers‚ or ŒTrue Baby Boomers‚ ˆ (Who would have been 25ˆ40-years-old in 1980, the main Business Men & Women, who would have mostly shaped the 1980s along side the Middle-Aged and the 41 to 49 year-olds at the time) ˆ (Born from 1940 to 1955).

Œ2nd Generation ˆ Baby Boomers‚ or ŒThe Hangers-on‚ or ŒFollowers of the True Baby Boomers‚ or ŒKling-ons‚ - (Born from 1956 to 1965).


Generation Xers ˆ (Born from 1966 to 1982).


Generation Y‚s ˆ (Born from 1983 to 1995).


Œ1st Millennial Generation‚ or ŒGeneration Z‚ or ŒBlair‚s Kids‚ ˆ (Born from 1996 to 2010).


Œ2nd Millennial Generation‚ ˆ (Born from 2011 to 2030).


Œ3rd Millennial Generation‚ ˆ (Born from 2031 to 2050).


Generation Explore ˆ (Born 2051 to 2100) ˆ (Who will be 1-years-old to 50-years-old in 2101) ˆ (This Generation will take us well into the 22nd Century and the Third Millennium ˆ They will Explore the Outer Reaches of our Solar System and Beyond).

GOOD LUCK TO THEM∑

Posted by: David Hurt on June 13, 2006 2:46 PM

ë1st Generation ñ Baby Boomersí or ëTrue Baby Boomersí ñ (Who would have been 25ñ40-years-old in 1980, the main Business Men & Women, who would have mostly shaped the 1980s along side the Middle-Aged and the 41 to 49 year-olds at the time) ñ (Born from 1940 to 1955).

ë2nd Generation ñ Baby Boomersí or ëThe Hangers-oní or ëFollowers of the True Baby Boomersí or ëKling-onsí - (Born from 1956 to 1965).


Generation Xers ñ (Born from 1966 to 1982).


Generation Yís ñ (Born from 1983 to 1995).


ë1st Millennial Generationí or ëGeneration Zí or ëBlairís Kidsí ñ (Born from 1996 to 2010).


ë2nd Millennial Generationí ñ (Born from 2011 to 2030).


ë3rd Millennial Generationí ñ (Born from 2031 to 2050).


Generation Explore ñ (Born 2051 to 2100) ñ (Who will be 1-years-old to 50-years-old in 2101) ñ (This Generation will take us well into the 22nd Century and the Third Millennium ñ They will Explore the Outer Reaches of our Solar System and Beyond).

GOOD LUCK TO THEMÖ

Posted by: David Hurt on June 13, 2006 2:51 PM

Beat and Boomer Gen Xrs?
Oldest usage of the term yet discovered.

In my generational research that had started on this very thread 4 years ago, I've uncovered a few things. One is that there are indeed "Natural generations". And another is that the term Gen X has been applied to at least everyone born within the last 80 years! Maybe being X isn't so much as what year you were born, but your outlook in life. Here's the earliest useage of the term that I've found-

From Word Origins.com http://www.wordorigins.org/Words/LetterG/generationx.html

Generation X
The term Generation X is much older than those that are usually assumed to belong to it. Generation X is a lost or disaffected cohort of youths; the X is a reference to the algebraic term for an unknown quantity. In recent years it has been applied to those coming of age in the 1980s and 1990s, the children of the Baby Boomers, although the term is much older than this generation.

It dates to 1952 and originally applied to the youth of that period. From Holiday magazine of December of that year:

What, you may well ask, is Generation X?. . . These are the youngsters who have seen and felt the agonies of the past two decades . . . , who are trying to keep their balance in the swirling pressures of today, and who will have the biggest say in the course of history for the next 50 years.

Usage in reference to the post-Baby Boom generation dates to at least 1989, when the Toronto Star of 24 February had this to say:

What if this Generation X turns around collectively and comes to the conclusion they can't sit around waiting, and instead . . . start their own businesses.
That same article coined the term Generation Xer for a member of Generation X:

The other possibility . . . is that the Generation X-ers will cope by changing their goals or changing their behavior.
Credit for the coinage of Generation X is often mistakenly given to Douglas Coupland's 1991 novel of that title, but while Coupland did much to popularize the term, he did not coin it.

(Source: Oxford English Dictionary, New Edition)

Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation_X

The history of the term
The term was first used in a 1964 study of British youth by Jane Deverson. Initially, Deverson was asked by the editor of the magazine Woman's Own to conduct a series of interviews with teenagers of the time. The study revealed teenagers who "sleep together before they are married, don't believe in God, dislike the Queen and don't respect parents", which was deemed unsuitable for the magazine because it was a new phenomenon. Deverson, in an attempt to save her research, worked with Hollywood correspondent Charles Hamblett to create a book about the study. Hamblett decided to name it Generation X.[2]
In 1976, the phrase was picked up as the name of a punk rock band featuring Billy Idol, which released three albums before disbanding in 1981.[3] However the term Generation X was used to describe the early British punks more generally with their nihilism, rejection of earlier generations' values and the feeling that they were a lost generation that meant nothing to society, and vice versa. The term Generation X was later popularized in 1991 when Douglas Coupland's popular novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture was published. Coupland took the X from Paul Fussell's 1983 book Class, where the term "class Y" designated a region of America's social hierarchy, rather than a generation.[4] However, this term has transcended its roots in that country and expanded into other areas of the West.
Coupland first wrote of Generation X in September, 1987 (Vancouver magazine, "Generation X", pp. 164-169, 194: see illustrations below), which was a precursor to the novel and slightly preceded the term "twentysomething". The main character Kevin, 25, is a Canadian "trailing edge" baby boomer who denies cohort affiliation with his older sister, 34, and friends, all boomers. Kevin and his cohorts are all over-educated, under-employed, and pay skyrocketing living expenses, which forces some to move back home to live with their parents (that is, boomerang). Unlike boomers, they were too young to march for peace (Vietnam protests ended with the draft in 1973 with protestors typically aged 16-25) and either were not born or were too young to recall Kennedy's assassination in 1963 (long term memory starting at age 5). Coupland referred to those born from 1958 to 1966 in Canada, or 1958 to 1964 in the United States. As the term Generation X later became somewhat interchangeable with "twentysomething", he later revised his notion of Generation X to include anyone considered as "twentysomething" in the years 1987 to 1991.[5]


Posted by: Wayne H. on October 8, 2006 9:24 PM

During a management meeting last week, we were told that Gen-Y was born between 1977-1994 and Gen-X was born between 1965-1976. The idea that a generation spans 11-12 years is ridiculous. So I decided to look at the birth numbers myself.

What immediately jumped out was that the baby boomer birth rate peaked in 1957. It was downhill from there. It dropped below the 4 million mark in 1965. It appears to me that the 1957-1958 period is the true beginning of the after Boomer generation. The only reason they push the Boomer generation to 1964 is because the births were above 4 million. IMO, that's a ridiculous qualifier when you can see the births falling for years before 1965.

The same holds for the beginning of the Baby Boomer generation. There is a gradual increase of births starting in 1938. They fall in 1939, but rise in 1940 and continue to rise until they fall in 1944 and 1945 (but still higher than they had been since before the depression started)because of WW 2. If all those men were here in the US instead of overseas, I think it's probable those birth years would have continued the uptrend. 1946 is a continution of what had begun in 1940; a continuation of increasing births per year to levels not seen in decades.

1973-1976 were the lowest birth years since WW 2, and still were as of 1996 (the last year for birth rates I have). What's unmistakable is that starting in 1977 the birth rate jumps to the highest it had been in 5 years and slowly increases for 5-6 years. They dip for 2 years and then proceed to rise until they top 4 million births for the first time since 1964 in 1989. The births continue to be over 4 million until 1994 when they fall to 3.9 million or so and fall again in 1995 to 3.8 million or so and then rise to 3.9 million again in 1996.

The way I see it, the birth year generational lines are pretty clear:

(inclusive)
1940 - 1957 (18 yrs)
1958 - 1976 (19 yrs)
1977 - 1993 (17 yrs)


Posted by: Tom on January 9, 2007 10:38 PM

I think the comments above are true in that the Baby Boom probably began before the end of WWII. I also think about 12-14 years is the greatest amount of time that can span a generation with the edges fuzzy - these generations can overlap by a few years, and I suppose people want clear boundaries.

Some similarities that seem to link generations, and the way I'd define them [all these dates are approximate; also, I think 'cusp' years could claim to be either generation, so the dates overlap]:

Silent Era [1930 give or take a few years-40]; they came of age in the 50s. The Korean War was their war. Leave it to Beaver, the beginning of Rock N Roll; Elvis, Johnny Cash. Their childhood came under the shadow of WWII, marked by war rationing and older uncles/fathers going off to war.

Baby Boomers [1940/42-1956]; came of age in the very late 50s and 60s [the 60s belong to the BBs]; the Vietnam War helped define this group. They are the children of the WWII generation and can truely be claimed as results of the 'baby boom' of the WWII returnees.

Post-baby boomers [or the real Generation X] [1956-1965, perhaps as late as '68] came of age in the 70s/early 80s; they are the children of the Silent Era generation, or possibly younger siblings of Baby Boomers [see Douglas Coupland]. Too young to serve in Vietnam. Not defined by a war, but by the changing economic conditions. Defined by the Reagan Revolution and diminishing economic outlook [in '82, the unemployment rate was something like 10 percent].

Post Generation X [1966, perhaps begins 1968-1980]: children of later Silent Era or early Baby Boomers; came of age in the 80s/early 90s. Similarities with post-baby boom generation. Low birth rate means this cohort not as numerous as earlier cohorts so they may have dealt a bit better with economy. Later Post Baby Boom/Generation X began the Internet Revolution and were early adopters of technology.

Millenials [1980-unclear where this ends]. Children of probably later Baby Boomers/Post Baby Boomers. First generation growing up with technology; influenced by communication modes made possible by Internet [the Myspace generation]

As a member of the 'Post baby boom' generation [1960] I'm afraid that we'll never come up with a snazzy name:) like Gen X. However the results of being lumped in the large cohort claimed for the 'Baby Boom' concerns me in terms of government programs and life issues such as retirement, as I think the issues facing us are very different from someone born in '46.

Speaking of which, I get tired of getting marketing directed towards the 'Baby Boomers' for retirement when I'm about 20 years away from it still. When I read about 'my generation' I read 'Baby Boomers retiring!" and I think - are you talkin' 'bout my generation?? I think not.

And according to Uncle Sam, beginning with those born '60 and after, we cannot retire at 65 anyhow -those born in '60 can claim full Soc Sec. at 67, with years going up to 70 for each year after] I'd like to still be thinking about issues facing me now [changing jobs, very much in the prime of my working life and dealing with the issues surrouding it] instead of being considered the tail end of a generation now in the process of retiring.

Maybe with the realities of retirement it will become apparent there is a real split between the 'leading edge' boomers and the so-called, 'later boomers'. Maybe eventually, we'll even be christened with our own seperate name:)

Posted by: carol on January 31, 2007 2:01 AM

Wow, I just was directed to your site from a search on baby boomers, gen X and gen Y. Still not real clear on the dates, but what I find more fascinating is that people are willing to talk about it for 4 years. Didn't realize people felt that strongly about it! Blog on Sir Pete! [1965 for me]

Posted by: Becca on April 8, 2007 11:09 AM

I agree with Carol. I was born in 1956 and don't consider myself a boomer. I was too young to serve in Vietnam, too young to participate in real anti-war protests (we were SDS wanna-bes in jr. high and high school), and I think "The Big Chill" is one of the most puke-inducing movies ever made. I couldn't relate to "Thirtysomething" either. I was born in the Philippines, where there's a constant baby boom. My father didn't serve in the military, then come home from the war and say, "Honey, let's start a family." I don't get this obsession with defining generations. I'm supposed to relate more to someone born in 1942 than to someone born in 1966? Oh please.

Posted by: Liza on May 3, 2007 2:07 PM

A new music video on YouTube called "The Sixties Generation"

The music video shows the great hits of the Sixties in alphabetical order

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unGGZZ9ytSM

Posted by: Rock On on September 16, 2007 8:18 AM

There are a number of cultural divides that could be pointed to to indicate the kind of world-view shifts that tend to define the differences between generations. It they can happen over just a few years.

The Rat Pack, Playboy Club, James Bond, Martini Lunch definition of cool of the early 60s was completely blown off the map by the arrival of the Beatles, an electric Bob Dylan and the Summer of Love only 3 or 4 years later

A whole group of A-list musical clebs and the genres they represented became old and out-of-step overnight including Elvis (Rock'n'Roll), Dizzy (Be-Bop)and Sinatra (Crooner Pop) Some tried to reinvent themselves. Miles founded Jazz Fusion and promptly burned out. (He didn't play for a decade), Elvis found a second wind - but only by becoming a mainstream pop act and taking it to Vegas. And we were treated to the sorry spectacle of Sammy Davis Jr. appearing on Laugh-In in 1968 in a flowerpower shirt repeating the word "Groovy" *way* to many times.

Other change points include:

1956 The arrival of Elvis - Birth of a poermenant US culture of Youth

1958 The Launch of Sputnik - The "Space Age" was to the second half of the 20th century as the Internet age is to the new Millenium

1963 JFK assasination

1964 Beatlemania

1968 RFK & MLK assasinations, Riots, Nam protests

1969 Moon Landing/Woodstock

1973 Watergate

1976 Bicentennial

1978 Punk Rock

1979 Iran Crisis

1980 Regan Elected/Lennon Assasinated

1982 Michael Jackson's Thriller

1983 Challenger Explosion

The list goes on (and I'm sure I've missed many other candidates)

How different is the world view of someone who was in high school when Elvis arrived and in college when JFK is shot from someone who was in high school when JFK was shot and college during Woodstock? How about high school for Watergate and college for Regan? High school for Punk Rock and college for the Challenger Explosion?

Yet all of these would be part of the "Boomer" experience under the current definition.

Posted by: Al Kratzer on September 25, 2007 5:10 PM

Now my turn, I was born in the first half of 1989, in Europe, and:

1. I rode around in station wagons
2. No Baby-On-Board decals
and 'gophering' instead of browsing)
3. You remember life before personal computers (oh yes!), or any other kind at home;
4. I remember LPs
5. I remember no cell phones at home, and that when the first was bough it weighed like a ton compared to those from now;
6. I used to play in the streets;
7. Kids who used braces were joked, so the ones who used glasses
8.and blahblahblah

Just kidding, but maybe that's because I'm the youngest person in the family, and the one older just before me is from '82. I got cousins who were born in the late 60s (I inherited their toys, even clothes). My brother was born in early 1980. I remember Grunge and all that kinds of things. I dunno. I think this is stupid really, because generations are what we are as people (life experience, knowledge...etc...) and not about the year we were born. On the other side I think the difference between a '89er and a '91er is bigger than a '69er and '79er, because I can remember no Internet at home or computer and no cell phones in school, but can a kid born in '91, I really doubt it!
I had to grow up faster (personal reasons), maybe that's why I've never understood people my age, always thought "they're too childish", but perhaps I'm "an at least" Gen X person in a Gen Y body. ;)

I had a 80s childhood in the 90s, oh, but as I've always been told : "I'm the different one". I can't get along as well with people my age as I do with people at least 8 years older than me (experiences, subjects to talk about, the way I dress, etc), I love being with my bro and his (older) friends. You'll always find me at the "old folks" table rather than in the youth one...well, I've come to see I'll really have to end up with a late 60s/70s husband ehehe.

Posted by: Ana on October 2, 2007 6:50 PM

Well, I am utterly confused. I was born in 1963. As someone said in a prior post. Growing up people born in 1963 were Generation X. We were not baby boomers, but the start of the next geration. I know from the stats in my area of the world, the general number population are baby boomers people 1946-1958. There is a definate decline of population born after 1960. And then again there is an increase of people born in the 1970-1979 period. I think this places people born in the 1960's in a gray area. Really free love did not start the baby boom. The end of the World War II 1945 and the Korean War 1953 started it and that was a good 10 years before the '60's. I don't think geration scales should span a 18 -20 year range. I don't think you can place children in the same generation as thier parents.

Posted by: Cat on October 17, 2007 12:04 PM

My name is Nicole Little, and I was born in July 4, 1977. I don't know why they put me on the Generation Y list when Generation X is really 1965-1980. I can't indentify with Generation y which is 1981-1999. I'm more Generation X than Y. Most of the artists I listen to are Gen Xers (Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly, Faith Evans, etc.) I had a Atari and a Nintendo. I had LA Gear. I had acid-washed jeans. I wanted to look like Salt n Pepa and Janet Jackson in the 1980s. I had Cabbage Patch dolls. I remember Smurfs and Alvin and The Chipmunks. I remember when HBO was Channel 2 where I live at. I graduate in 1995, so I'm not a Gen Yer. I'm a Gen Xer.

Posted by: Nicole Little on November 17, 2007 5:12 AM

A few months ago Social Historians William Strauss and Neil Howe (Authors of numerous generational books and fathers of modern generational study, as well as founders of Lifecourse Associates, a age-based consulting firm) held a question and answer session with readers. Concerning the alledged 1976-1977 split they said-

http://www.fourthturning.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3061

"Demographics drive history in several important respects, but they alter the fundamentals of each generation's lifecycle destiny less than many people think. Those who look to demographics to explain generational differences tend to get birthyear boundaries wrong for example, defining Gen-X as born between 1965 and 1976, which misses the start of two generations, besides being far too short for any generation. If you define generations in terms of ups-and-downs of birth rates, you have very little to say about any American generation born before 1930. One demographic fact that is quite interesting is how, starting in the 1990s, Americans gave birth to many more babies than demographers were predicting, by applying the echo boom bubble in fertile-age women. "

There are other problems as well. If one trend is the standard for deciding who belongs to a generation, then the generation must've started in the late 1950's when the birthrates started to fall. Also is should be taken into account that the birth numbers of 1965 hadn't been surpassed until the mid 80's.

The real question is not the dates that Generation X encompass, but rather what actually is Generation X? I'm afraid the term is more often about a failed 90's marketing campaign rather than a dynamic generation of real people. Generation Y, which actually began life in a marketing editorial describing people born between 1974 and 1980, is now code for "new and improved".

Posted by: Wayne on March 3, 2008 11:55 PM

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