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Generation X, commonly abbreviated to Gen X, is the generation born after the baby boom ended[1][2], with earliest birth dates used by researchers ranging from 1964 to the latest 1981.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

The term Generation X has been used in demography, the social sciences, and marketing, though it is most often used in popular culture.

Contents

Origin

The term Generation X was coined in the UK in the December 1952 issue of Holiday.[12] The term was then used in a 1964 study of British youth by Jane Deverson. Deverson was asked by Woman's Own magazine to interview teenagers of the time. The study revealed a generation of teenagers who "sleep together before they are married, were not taught to believe in God as 'much', dislike the Queen, and don't respect parents," these controversial findings meant that the piece was deemed unsuitable for the magazine. 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.[13]

The term was popularized by Canadian author Douglas Coupland’s 1991 novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, concerning young adults during the late 1980s and their lifestyles. While Coupland's book helped to popularize the phrase “Generation X,” in a 1989 magazine article[14] He erroneously attributed the term to Billy Idol. In fact, Idol had been a member of the punk band Generation X from 1976-1981, which was named after Deverson and Hamblett's 1965 sociology book—a copy of which was owned by Idol's mother.

In the U.S. Generation X was originally referred to as the "baby bust" generation because of the drop in the birth rate following the baby boom.[1]

The "13th Generation"

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 (the lowest birth rate year for this generation was 1970).

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).[3] The label was also chosen because they consider it 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[15] -- 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[16]), released soon after the generation's first members were born.[17]

Generation X in the United States

Individuals considered to be within Generation X were born, and grew up during the later years of, and in the decade following the Vietnam War. They are most often linked to the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.[18] Coming of age after the Vietnam War had ended, their political experiences and cultural perspective were shaped by the end of the cold war, the fall of the Berlin wall, and a series of US economic calamities such as the 1973 oil crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the early 1980's recession, and the savings and loan crisis - instilling a sense of economic uncertainty and a reduced expectation of long term fidelity between employers and employees. Growing up in an historical span of relative geopolitical peace for the US, this generation saw the inception of the home computer, the rise of videogames, and the Internet as a tool for social and commercial purposes. Other attributes identified with this demographic are Dot-com businesses, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Desert Storm, 80's rock, such as Van Halen and Bon Jovi, Heavy Metal, grunge and hip hop culture and punk rock bands such as The Ramones.

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.) In economics, a study (done by Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Urban Institute) challenged the notion that each generation will be better off than the one that preceded it.[19] The study, 'Economic Mobility: Is the American Dream Alive and Well?" focuses on the income of males 30-39 in 2004 (those born April, 1964 – March, 1974) and is based on Census/BLS CPS March supplement data.[20]

The study, which was released on May 25, 2007, emphasized that in real dollars, this generation's men made less (by 12%) than their fathers had at that same age in 1974, thus reversing a historical trend. The study also suggests that per year increases in the portion of father/son family household income generated by fathers/sons have slowed (from an average of 0.9% to 0.3%), barely keeping pace with inflation, though increases in overall father/son family household income are progressively higher each year because more women are entering the workplace, contributing to family household income.[21]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Gen-X: The Ignored Generation? - TIME
  2. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/29/AR2008022903658_pf.html
  3. ^ a b Strauss, William & Howe, Neil. Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069. Perennial, 1992 (Reprint). ISBN 0-688-11912-3 p. 324
  4. ^ http://knowledge.emory.edu/article.cfm?articleid=950
  5. ^ Tovar, Molly (August/September 2007). "Getting it Right: Graduate Schools Respond to the Millenial Challenge". Communicator 40 (7): 1. http://www.cgsnet.org/portals/0/pdf/comm_2007_08.pdf. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  6. ^ Neuborne, Ellen (1999-02-15). "Generation Y". Business Week. http://www.businessweek.com/1999/99_07/b3616001.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  7. ^ http://www.alliancetrends.org/demographics-population.cfm?id=34
  8. ^ http://www.theage.com.au/news/Education-News/Rise-of-the-millennials/2005/05/27/1117129892594.html
  9. ^ "How Generational Theory Can Improve Teaching: Strategies for Working with the "Millennials"" (PDF). Currents in Teaching and Learning 1 (1): 29-44. Fall 2008. http://www.worcester.edu/Currents/Archives/Volume_1_Number_1/CurrentsV1N1WilsonP29.pdf. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  10. ^ http://lifecourse.com/store/catalog/major/gens.html
  11. ^ http://lifecourse.com/store/catalog/major/millennialsRising.html
  12. ^ GenXegesis: essays on alternative youth (sub)culture By John McAllister Ulrich, Andrea L. Harris
  13. ^ Asthana, Anushka & Thorpe, Vanessa. "Whatever happened to the original Generation X?". The Observer. January 23, 2005.
  14. ^ Coupland, Doug. “Generation X.” Vista, 1989.
  15. ^ Strauss & Howe, ibid, p. 365
  16. ^ Strauss & Howe, ibid, p. 30,
  17. ^ Strauss & Howe, ibid, p. 337,
  18. ^ Robinson, Peter (1997-10-31). "GEN X FILES". Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson. Hoover Institution. http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uk/3420651.html. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  19. ^ http://www.economicmobility.org/assets/pdfs/Economic_Mobility_in_America_Full.pdf
  20. ^ Economic Mobility Project
  21. ^ Standing in the shadow of dad's salary - May. 25, 2007

External links


Generation X, commonly abbreviated to Gen X, is the generation born after the baby boom ended,[1][2] ranging from 1961 to 1981.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]

The term Generation X has been used in demography, the social sciences, and marketing, though it is most often used in popular culture.

Contents

Origin

The term Generation X was coined by the Magnum photographer Robert Capa in the early 1950s. He would use it later as a title for a photo-essay about young men and women growing up immediately after the Second World War. The project first appeared in "Picture Post" (UK) and "Holiday" (USA) in 1953. Describing his intention, Capa said 'We named this unknown generation, The Generation X, and even in our first enthusiasm we realised that we had something far bigger than our talents and pockets could cope with'.[14] Author John Ulrich explains that, "Since then, "Generation X" has always signified a group of young people, seemingly without identity, who face an uncertain, ill-defined (and perhaps hostile) future. Subsequent appearances of the term in the mid-1960s and mid-1970s narrowed the referent for "Generation X" from Capa's global generation to specific sets of primarily white, male, working class British youth sub-cultures, from the spiffy mods and their rivals the rockers, to the more overtly negationist punk subculture." [15]

The term was used in a 1964 study of British youth by Jane Deverson. Deverson was asked by Woman's Own magazine to interview teenagers of the time. The study revealed a generation of teenagers who "sleep together before they are married, were not taught to believe in God as 'much', dislike the Queen, and don't respect parents." Because of these controversial findings, the piece was deemed unsuitable for the magazine. 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.[16]

The term was popularized by Canadian author Douglas Coupland's 1991 novel, Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, concerning young adults during the late 1980s and their lifestyles. While Coupland's book helped to popularize the phrase "Generation X," in a 1989 magazine article[17] he erroneously attributed the term to English musician Billy Idol. In fact, Idol had been a member of the punk band Generation X from 1976–1981, which was named after Deverson and Hamblett's 1965 sociology book—a copy of which was owned by Idol's mother.[18]

In the U.S. Generation X was originally referred to as the "baby bust" generation because of the drop in the birth rate following the baby boom.[citation needed]

The "13th Generation"

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).[3] 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[19] -- 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[20]), released soon after the generation's first members were born.[21]

Generation X in the United States

Individuals considered to be within Generation X were born, and grew up during the later years of, and in the decade following the Vietnam War. They are most often linked to the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.[22] Coming of age after the Vietnam War had ended, their political experiences and cultural perspective were shaped by the end of the cold war, the fall of the Berlin wall, and a series of US economic calamities such as the 1973 oil crisis, the 1979 energy crisis, the early 1980's recession, Black Monday (1987) and the savings and loan crisis - instilling a sense of economic uncertainty and a reduced expectation of long term fidelity between employers and employees.[citation needed] Growing up in a historical span of relative geopolitical peace for the US, this generation saw the inception of the home computer, the rise of videogames, cable television and the Internet as a tool for social and commercial purposes. Other attributes identified with this demographic are peaks in U.S. urban decay, the Dot-com bubble, the New York City blackout of 1977, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, the Iran hostage crisis, the Iran-Contra Affair, Desert Storm, the rise and fall of disco, 1980's rock "hair bands" such as Motley Crue and Bon Jovi, new wave, techno and punk rock, gangsta rap, Heavy Metal, 1990's grunge/alternative rock bands such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam, and the hip hop culture. Along with early members of Generation Y, Generation Xers are sometimes referred to as the MTV Generation.[citation needed]

The members of Generation X are thought to be[weasel words] the first generation to be raised in an age of postmodernism.[citation needed] Understanding the transition from modernism to postmodernism is relevant in order to understand the perspective and modalities of this generation.[citation needed] Compared with previous generations, Generation X represents a more heterogeneous generation, exhibiting great variety. They are diverse in such aspects as race, class, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.[23]

Often the children of divorced parents,[citation needed] change is more the rule for the people of Generation X than the exception.[citation needed] Unlike their parents who challenged leaders with an intent to replace them, Generation X tend to ignore leaders.[24]

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.[citation needed] (Also see Education Statistics Canada, 2001 Census.)[citation needed]

In economics, a study (done by Pew Charitable Trusts, the American Enterprise Institute, the Brookings Institute, the Heritage Foundation and the Urban Institute) challenged the notion that each generation will be better off than the one that preceded it.[25] The study, 'Economic Mobility: Is the American Dream Alive and Well?" focuses on the income of males 30-39 in 2004 (those born April, 1964 – March, 1974) and is based on Census/BLS CPS March supplement data.[26] The study, which was released on May 25, 2007, emphasized that in real dollars, this generation's men made less (by 12%) than their fathers had at that same age in 1974, thus reversing a historical trend. The study also suggests that per year increases in the portion of father/son family household income generated by fathers/sons have slowed (from an average of 0.9% to 0.3%), barely keeping pace with inflation, though increases in overall father/son family household income are progressively higher each year because more women are entering the workplace, contributing to family household income.[27]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Stephey, M.J. (2008-04-16). "Gen-X: The Ignored Generation?". Time. http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1731528,00.html. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 
  2. ^ Non-Toxic Tots
  3. ^ a b Strauss, William & Howe, Neil. Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069. Perennial, 1992 (Reprint). ISBN 0-688-11912-3 p. 324
  4. ^ "Is Your Firm Ready for the Millennials? - Knowledge@Emory". Knowledge.emory.edu. 2006-03-08. http://knowledge.emory.edu/article.cfm?articleid=950. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  5. ^ Tovar, Molly (August/September 2007). "Getting it Right: Graduate Schools Respond to the Millenial Challenge". Communicator 40 (7): 1. http://www.cgsnet.org/portals/0/pdf/comm_2007_08.pdf. Retrieved 2008-08-29. 
  6. ^ Neuborne, Ellen (1999-02-15). "Generation Y". Business Week. http://www.businessweek.com/1999/99_07/b3616001.htm. Retrieved 2009-05-17. 
  7. ^ "Demographics / Population Trends". Alliancetrends.org. http://www.alliancetrends.org/demographics-population.cfm?id=34. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  8. ^ "Rise of the millennials - Education News". Melbourne: theage.com.au. 2005-05-30. http://www.theage.com.au/news/Education-News/Rise-of-the-millennials/2005/05/27/1117129892594.html. Retrieved 2010-04-30. 
  9. ^ "How Generational Theory Can Improve Teaching: Strategies for Working with the "Millennials"" (PDF). Currents in Teaching and Learning 1 (1): 29–44. Fall 2008. http://www.worcester.edu/Currents/Archives/Volume_1_Number_1/CurrentsV1N1WilsonP29.pdf. Retrieved 2009-05-16. 
  10. ^ "Lifecourse Associates: Generations (Book)". Lifecourse.com. http://lifecourse.com/store/catalog/major/gens.html. Retrieved 2010-06-05. 
  11. ^ "Lifecourse Associates: Millennials Rising (Book)". Lifecourse.com. http://store.lifecourse.com/products/16/Millennials-Rising.html. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  12. ^ Kadlic, John (2006-November). "Decoding the Digital Millennials: Large in Number, H". Litmus (Resource Interactive): pp. 1. http://www.cjcstrategists.com/resources/sprawl/millennials.pdf. Retrieved 2010-09-13. "Digital millennials were born between 1982 and 2000. We’ve called them “millennials” because the first wave graduated high school in 2000" 
  13. ^ Orrell, Lisa (2008-November). "Millennial Madness: Their Popularity & New Dimension to Diversity". DiversityBusiness.com. http://www.diversitybusiness.com/news/diversity.magazine/99200818.asp. Retrieved 2010-09-12. "The first Millennial class officially said to graduate high school was the Class of 2000." 
  14. ^ GenXegesis: essays on alternative youth (sub)culture By John McAllister Ulrich, Andrea L. Harris p. 5.
  15. ^ Ulrich, John. "Introduction: A (Sub)cultural Genealogy". In Andrea L. Harris. GenXegesis: essays on alternative youth. pp. 3. http://books.google.com/books?id=v10ZUR_Ca3EC&lpg=PA3&pg=PA3#v=onepage&q&f=false. 
  16. ^ Asthana, Anushka & Thorpe, Vanessa. "Whatever happened to the original Generation X?". The Observer. January 23, 2005.
  17. ^ Coupland, Doug. "Generation X." Vista, 1989.
  18. ^ Generation X - A Punk History with Pictures
  19. ^ Strauss & Howe, ibid, p. 365
  20. ^ Strauss & Howe, ibid, p. 30,
  21. ^ Strauss & Howe, ibid, p. 337,
  22. ^ Robinson, Peter (1997-10-31). "GEN X FILES". Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson. Hoover Institution. http://www.hoover.org/multimedia/uk/3420651.html. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  23. ^ Isaksen, Judy L. (2002). "Generation X". St. James Encyclopedia of Pop Culture. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_g1epc/is_tov/ai_2419100500/. 
  24. ^ http://www.notterconsulting.com/Articles/generationaldive.html
  25. ^ http://www.economicmobility.org/assets/pdfs/Economic_Mobility_in_America_Full.pdf
  26. ^ Economic Mobility Project
  27. ^ Ellis, David (2007-05-25). "Making less than dad did". CNN. http://money.cnn.com/2007/05/25/pf/mobility_study/index.htm?cnn=yes. Retrieved 2010-05-03. 

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Noun

Generation X

  1. the generation of people born after baby boom that followed World War II, especially those born in the 1960s and 1970s

See also

Anagrams


Simple English

Generation X represents anyone born between the early to mid 1960s until the mid to late 1970s, or until the early 1980s, according to various sources. People born during this period include Winona Ryder, Julianne Moore, Courteney Cox and Drew Barrymore. Those born in the period of Generation X are known as "Gen Xers". These people grew up with movies like Star Wars and TV programs like The Cosby Show and Dynasty.








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