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A baby boomer is a person who was born during the demographic Post-World War II baby boom and who grew up during the 1960s and 1970s. The term "baby boomer" is sometimes used in a cultural context. Therefore, it is impossible to achieve broad consensus of a precise definition, even within a given territory. Different groups, organizations, individuals, and scholars may have widely varying opinions on what constitutes a baby boomer, both technically and culturally. Ascribing universal attributes to a broad generation is difficult, and some observers believe that it is inherently impossible. Nonetheless, many people have attempted to determine the broad cultural similarities and historical impact of the generation, and thus the term has gained widespread popular usage.
In general, baby boomers are associated with a rejection or redefinition of traditional values; however, many commentators have disputed the extent of that rejection, noting the widespread continuity of values with older and younger generations. In Europe and North America boomers are widely associated with privilege, as many grew up in a time of affluence. As a group, they were the healthiest, and wealthiest generation to that time, and amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time.
One feature of Boomers was that they tended to think of themselves as a special generation, very different from those that had come before. In the 1960s, as the relatively large numbers of young people became teenagers and young adults, they, and those around them, created a very specific rhetoric around their cohort, and the change they were bringing about. This rhetoric had an important impact in the self perceptions of the boomers, as well as their tendency to define the world in terms of generations, which was a relatively new phenomenon.
The baby boom has been described variously as a "shockwave" and as "the pig in the python." By the sheer force of its numbers, the boomers were a demographic bulge which remodeled society as it passed through it.
The term Generation Jones has sometimes been used to distinguish those born from 1954 onward from the earlier Baby Boomers.
Generation X, commonly abbreviated to Gen X, is the generation born after the Western post–World War II baby boom ended. While there is no universally agreed upon time frame, the term generally includes people born in the 1960s through the late '70s, sometimes as late as the early '80s, usually no later than 1981 or 1982. Some cite that Generation X began with people born as early as 1960. The term had also been used in different times and places for various different subcultures or countercultures since the 1950s.
In the 1991 book Generations, William Strauss and Neil Howe call this generation the "13th Generation" and define the birth years as 1961 to 1981. 1970, the approximate mid-point of the "13th Generation", had the lowest birth rate of this period.
According to the authors, Generation X is "the 13th generation" to be familiar with the flag of the United States (counting back to the peers of Benjamin Franklin). The label was also chosen because, according to their generational theory, it is considered a "Reactive" or "Nomad" generation, composed of those who were children during a spiritual awakening.
Older generations generally have negative perceptions of Reactive generations—whose members tend to be pragmatic and perceptive, savvy but amoral, more focused on money than on art -- and the use of 13 is also intended to associate this perception with the negative connotations of that number.
The authors highlight this negative perception by noting the popularity of "devil-child" movies, wherein children are portrayed as malevolent protagonists (e.g. Rosemary's Baby), released soon after the generation's first members were born.
Those associated with Generation X have cultural perspectives and political experiences that were shaped by series of events. This includes the end of the Cold War, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the 1973 oil crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the early 1980s recession, Black Monday and the savings and loan crisis, both of which preceded the early 1990s recession. Generation X saw the introduction of the home computer, the beginning growth of video game era, cable television and the Internet. Other attributions include the U.S. urban decay, the AIDS epidemic, the War on Drugs, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster the Iran hostage crisis, Iran-Contra Affair, Operation Desert Storm, the Dot-com bubble, post punk, grunge and alternative rock, and the global influence of the hip hop culture and music genre. They are often called the MTV Generation. Pertinent to a non-partisan study on the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, the Population Reference Bureau, a demographic research organization based in Washington, D.C., cited Generation X birth years as falling between 1965-1982.
In American cinema, directors Kevin Smith, Richard Linklater and Todd Solondz have been called Generation X filmmakers. Smith is most known for his View Askewniverse films, the flagship film being Clerks., which focused on a pair of bored, twenty-something convenience store clerks in New Jersey circa 1994; Linklater's Slacker similarly explored young adult characters who were more interested in philosophizing than settling with a long-term career and family; Solondz' Welcome To The Dollhouse touched upon themes of school bullying, school violence, teen drug use, peer pressure and broken or dysfunctional families, mostly set in a junior high school environment during the early to mid-1990s.
When compared with previous generations, Generation X represents a more heterogeneous generation, exhibiting great variety of diversity in such aspects as race, class, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.
Often the children of divorced parents. The beginning of the divorce rate growth., change is more the rule for the people of Generation X than the exception. Unlike our parents who challenged leaders with an intent to replace them, Generation X tend to ignore leaders.
The US Census Bureau cites Generation X as statistically holding the highest education levels when looking at age group (bloc): US Census Bureau, in their 2009 Statistical Abstract. (Also see Education Statistics Canada, 2001 Census.)
Generation Y, also known as the Millennial Generation (or Millennials), Generation Next, Net Generation, Echo Boomers,, describes the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates for when the Millennial generation starts and ends, and commentators have used birth dates ranging somewhere from the mid-1970s to the mid 1990s, with some sources including as late as the early 2000s. Members of this generation are called Echo Boomers, due to the significant increase in birth rates through the 1980s and into the 1990s, and because many of them are children of baby boomers. The 20th century trend toward smaller families in developed countries continued, however, so the relative impact of the "baby boom echo" was generally less pronounced than the original boom.
Characteristics of the generation vary by region, depending on social and economic conditions. However, it is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. In most parts of the world its upbringing was marked by an increase in a neoliberal approach to politics and economics. The effects of this environment are disputed.
Experts differ on the actual start date of Generation Y. Some sources use starting dates as early as 1976. Other sources use 1978, 1980, or 1982. Generation Y is the group generally considered to be the last generation of children wholly born in the 20th century. Source(s) And while 1982 is a fairly common start date, some sources use even later dates. Sources citing 1982 mark the end the generation either in the early or mid-1990s or the early 2000s, with 1982-1995 and 1982-2000 as common ranges. Today, there are approximately 80 million Echo Boomers.
The majority of Generation Y is likely more tuned to culturally liberal with many supporting modern yet historically more liberal views in general as well as various other politically liberal stances, also many are liberal about marijuana use but, in spite of the new dominant liberal growth, new youth clubs and groups have been created in developed countries (such as the US, UK, Japan, Australia and Italy) to take the task of promoting and preserving conservative views and religious beliefs (i.e. the rapid growth of nondenominational churches by gen-Yers), such as free market principles and "socially conservative" behavior (i.e. abstinence from drug experimentation, underage drinking and premarital sex). Since the 2000 U.S. Census which allowed persons to select more than one racial group, "Millennials" in abundance have asserted their right to have all their heritages respected, counted and acknowledged
Generation Y'ers are largely the children of the Baby Boomers, while younger members of this generation have parents that belong to Generation X, and some older members have parents that are members of the Silent Generation.
There are different views regarding Generation Y. When the term originated in 1993, it referred to teenagers aged 13 to 19 at the time (born between 1974 and 1980) with "more to come over the next 10 years". Here is a verbatim reprint of the actual Advertising Age op ed. of August 30, 1993 -- the above erroneous information notwithstanding:
"That cynical, purple-haired blob watching TV, otherwise known as Generation X, has been giving marketers fits for a long time. He doesn't respond to advertising, isn't brand-loyal and probably doesn't have much discretionary income, i.e. a job. But help is on the way. Following this angry young adult generation is a group of teens-agers who are leaving Generation X at the gate. There are 27 million of these 13-to-19-year-olds spending $ 95 billion a year, and both numbers will rise in the next 10 years. As our headline last week pointed out, this group is interested in real life, real solutions.
Economic prospects for the Millennials have worsened due to the late-2000s recession. Several governments have instituted major youth employment schemes out of fear of social unrest due to the dramatically increased rates of youth unemployment. In Europe, youth unemployment levels are very high (50% in the U.S., 40% in Spain, 35% in the Baltic states, 19.1% in Britain and more than 20% in many more). In 2009 leading commentators began to worry about the long term social and economic effects of the unemployment. Unemployment levels in other areas of the world are also high, with the youth unemployment rate in the U.S. reaching a record level (19.1%, July 2010) since the statistic started being gathered in 1948. In the United States the economic difficulties have led to dramatic increases in youth poverty, unemployment, and the numbers of young people living with their parents. In Canada, unemployment amongst youths aged 15 to 24 years of age in July 2009 was 15.9%, the highest it had been in 11 years.
Generation Y who grew up in Asian countries show different preferences and expectations of work to those who grew up in the US or Europe. This is usually attributed to the differing cultural and economic conditions experienced while growing up.
The Millennials are sometimes called the "Trophy Generation", or "Trophy Kids," a term that reflects the trend in competitive sports, as well as many other aspects of life, where mere participation is frequently enough for a reward. It has been reported that this is an issue in corporate environments. Some employers are concerned that Millennials have too great expectations from the workplace. Studies predict that Generation Y will switch jobs frequently, holding far more than Generation X due to their great expectations. To address these new challenges, many large firms are currently studying the social and behaviorial patterns of Millennials and are trying to devise programs that decrease intergenerational estrangement, and increase relationships of reciprocal understanding between older employees and Millennials, while at the same time making Millennials more comfortable. The UK's Institute of Leadership & Management researched the gap in understanding between Generation Y recruits and their managers in collaboration with Ashridge Business School. The findings included high expectations for advancement, salary and for a coaching relationship with their manager, and suggested that organisations will need to adapt to accommodate and make the best use of Generation Y. In an example of a company trying to do just this, Goldman Sachs conducts training programs that use actors to portray Millennials who assertively seek more feedback, responsibility, and involvement in decision making. After the performance, employees discuss and debate the generational differences they have seen played out.
Generation Z (also known as Generation M, the Net Generation, or the Internet Generation) is a common name for the group of people born in the 1990s through the present.
The most recent cultural generation refers to those born, by some accounts, as early as 1991, some sources cite later years, even as late as 2001. The generation has spent their entire lives with the World Wide Web's first commercial availability in 1991 with the start of a new generation. The youngest of the generation were born during a baby boomlet around the time of the Global financial crisis of the late 2000s decade, ending around the year 2010, with the next unnamed generation succeeding. Unlike Generation Y, they have faint recollection of the September 11 tragedies as children (with the oldest members being 10 years of age during the time of the attacks); some do not even recall them at all. They were raised in the years after the cold war era and the fall of the Soviet Union, unlike the prior generation.
Members of Generation Z are typically the children of Generation X; their parents may also include the youngest Baby Boomers as well as older members of Generation Y.
Generation Z is highly connected, as many of this generation have had lifelong use of communications and media technologies such as the World Wide Web, instant messaging, text messaging, MP3 players, mobile phones and YouTube, earning them the nickname "digital natives". No longer limited to the home computer, the Internet is now increasingly carried in their pockets on mobile Internet devices such as mobile phones. A marked difference between Generation Y and Generation Z is that older members of the former remember life before the takeoff of mass technology, while the latter have been born completely within it. This generation has also been born completely into an era of postmodernism and globalization.
Generation Z are known for curating online at a rapid pace: sharing thoughts and observations on a variety of media, topics and products.
While older members of Generation Y have significant childhood memories of the Cold War, members of this generation, technically considered "Millennials", were born almost exclusively after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Parents of Generation Z are working part time or becoming stay-at-home parents so that children are raised by them and other family members instead of a day care facility, which forces children to be in groups. However, Soccer moms and helicopter parents are just as common with these members as with children of the previous generation.