Week of May 12 – “Generations”

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The Greatest Generation (1901 – 1924) is a term for those Americans who fought in World War II, as well as those who kept the home front intact during it.

Silent Generation (1925 – 1945) was the generation born between the two World Wars, who were too young to join the service when World War II started. Many had fathers who served in World War I. It was coined in the November 5, 1951 cover story of Time to refer to the generation within the United States coming of age at the time.

The Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) were the generation born just after World War II, a time that included a 14-year increase in birthrate worldwide. Following World War II, severalEnglish-speaking countries — the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand — experienced an unusual spike in birth rates, a phenomenon commonly referred to as the baby boom.

Baby Boomers in their teen and college years were characteristically part of the 1960s counterculture, but later became more of consciousness, but later became more conservative, eventually gave birth to Generations X and Y.

Generation X is the generation born between approximately 1964 to 1980, and connected to the pop culture of the 1980s and 1990s they grew up in. The term has been used in demography, the social sciences, and marketing, though it is most often used in popular culture. Other names used interchangeably with Generation X are 13th Generation and Baby Busters.

“Baby Busters” is a term which is used interchangeably with “Generation X” and “13th Generation” to describe those people born between approximately 1965 and 1979. Others define it as the “post-peak Boomers”, the long steady decline of Baby Boomer birth rates starting in 1958 and ending in 1968.

Awareness of this generation began in the early 1990s, with cultural touchstones like the Lollapalooza Festival and grunge band Nirvana’s song Smells Like Teen Spirit, and Time Magazine’s 1990 cover story titled “Twentysomething”, signaling the advent of a new generation coming of age.

The MTV Generation is a term sometimes used to refer to people born from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s. As a group, they constituted the youth culture of at the turn of the Millennium, ranging from age 15 to 25 in 2000. Culturally the term MTV Generation has been widely used to define the generation of young adults in the Western World who are influenced by fashion trends, music, and slang terms shown in music videos on the newly created cable channel MTV.

Boomerang Generation is one of several terms applied to the current generation of young adults in Western culture, born approximately between 1975 and 1986. They are so named for the frequency with which they choose to cohabitate with their parents after a brief period of living alone – thus boomeranging back to their place of origin.

Generation Y, (1982 – 1994)sometimes referred to as “Millennials, “Echo Boomers”, or jokingly as “Generation Why?”, refers to the cohort of individuals born, roughly, between 1982 and 1994. These are usually the children of Baby Boomers and people in early Gen X. Generation Y grew up with many world-changing events including the rise of mass communication and the Internet. The Y Generation is known as a Culture War “battleground” with growing disagreements between conservative and progressive perspectives.

Generation Z is the generation of people living in Western or First World cultures that follows Generation Y. Experts differ on when the earliest members of Generation Z were born, ranging from 1990 to 2001, though a majority opinion claims about 1996. Several other names have been used to refer to this population group, including “Generation V” (for virtual), “Generation C” (for community or content), “Generation Cox”, “The New Silent Generation”, the “Internet Generation”, the “Homeland Generation”, or even the “Google Generation”.

Generation i reflects the burst of technology which in the last decade (as we ourselves have made our real-world debut), has become commonplace, and the prefix “i-” has become a universal indicator of tech. Yes, it’s a bit of a capitulation to Apple, but let’s not fool ourselves: the iPod and iMac immediately became so synonymous with personal technology that i- became generic almost overnight. So we’ve got Generation i. To be honest, I’m not sure if I prefer i or I. I think that, like other instances of the letter, capitalization may vary.

Generation i is also Generation Me, signalizing the increasing independence and compartmentalization of the social order that is the result of the personal computer and the internet, our totem technologies. It’s the paradox of instant connection and constant isolation.

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