America’s Social Generations, Explained

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Trivial Diversions

America’s Social Generations, Explained

America’s Social Generations, Explained

“The process of identifying as belonging to a particular generation is conditioned through the way in which social change results in the emergence of new experience.”

Social generations were first identified in the 19th century by French lexicographer Emile Littre, who defined it as “all men living more or less at the same time.” Since then, there have been six divides that construe the U.S. social generations, all identified by their own significant events.

G.I. Generation 1901-1924

Although nobody from this generation may ever read this article, they are still notable people worthy of learning about. The G.I Generation is a subgeneration of the “Greatest Generation,” an all-encompassing term referring to those raised in the United States during the Great Depression and WWII.

Soldiers in WWII

Soldiers in WWII

Silent Generation 1925-1945

Also a sub-unit of the Greatest Generation, this generation experienced WWII in childhood. Since this time was pre-feminism, the women of this generation were generally given the caretaker role of housewives. Their traditionalist views led men to pledge loyalty to their careers or keeping their jobs for life.

V-J Day in Times Square, 1945

V-J Day in Times Square, 1945

Baby Boomers 1946-1964

Just after WWII came the Baby Boomers. In a 14-year time span of worldwide birthrate increase, the unusual spike in birth rates was referred to as the baby boom. The teen and college-student boomers sparked the Hippie subculture movement in the early 60’s – a time when psychedelic rock debuted, sexuality was embraced, and hallucinogens were used to explore various states of consciousness.

Boomers at their prime

Boomers at their prime

Generation X 1960s-1980s

Most born in this generation are children of the Baby Boomers or the Silent Generation. Within them are the Baby Busters and the MTV Generation. The Baby Busters were born approximately between 1965 and 1979, and were the last of the long steady decline of the Baby Boomer birth rates. The MTV-ers were born from the mid ’70s to the mid ’80s; they consist of those influenced by the fashion trends, music, and slang shown on the newly created MTV.

A Gen-X kid favorite

A Gen-X kid favorite

Generation Y 1982-1994

Generation Y, a.k.a Millennials, experienced the rise of the Information age, Internet, the Iraq War, and rising gas and food prices. Authors William Strauss and Neil Howe predict that Millennials will eventually become more like the “civil minded” of the G.I. Generation with a strong sense of local and global community.

Pretty much

Pretty much

Generation Z 1995-2007

Being the generation that is still growing up, Generation Z has yet to develop characteristics that define it. However, while most of them have had lifelong use in media technology communication, they’ve earned the nickname “digital native” for their connection to the Internet, instant messaging, text messaging, mobile phones, and tablets.

A true intellectual

A true child of his age

Related topics baby boomers, generations, greyceli
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