Society

Which Generation Were You Born In?

Sociologists have determined names to define different generations, which describes the length of time between childhood and adulthood.

A generation is comprised of people who were born and are living around the same period. It is considered to be around 30 years, and encompass the time between somebody's birthdate and the time they are grown. People of the same generation tend to face similar challenges and have similar ideas and attitude. The idea of social generation has been in use since the 19th century when French lexicographer Emile Littre summarized a generation as people living almost at the same period. Today, people have been grouped into seven distinct generations depending on the period in which they were born.

7. Generation Z - 1995-Present

It is generally agreed upon that Generation Z, also called the iGeneration or the Post-Millennial, begins in the year 1995 and continues to include babies born in the present. The generation is characterized by a widespread use of the internet, social media, and other types of technology. It is the first generation to be born after the birth of the internet. It has been theorized that Generation Z may struggle with feelings of unsettlement or insecurity, due to their childhood experience in the Great Recession of the late 2000s. Although sweeping statements are hard to make about a generation that is still in its infancy, it has been predicted that the growing income gap and precarious economy will have a profound impact on Generation Z. However, it has also been project that Generation Z has potential to be the most well-educated generation in history.

6. Millenials - 1981-1995

It is disputed what the exact date range for "Millenials" are, but it is understood to include children of "baby boomers", the majority of whom came of age or were growing up around the time of the year 2000. They have also been called "echo boomers", after a population surge that was seen around the time that baby boomers were having children. The traits of Millenials can vary from one region to another depending on the socio-economic conditions and cultural factors. However, the generation is characterized by increased use and familiarity with digital technology and communication, a liberal approach to politics and economics. They are the generation most likely to support the legalization of drugs. Research that has been conducted on Millenials has been very vast and varied, with some sociologists suggesting that the generation features an increased occurrence of narcissism (which is aptly characterized by the given name "the Me Generation"), which others theorizing that Millenials will be incredibly civic-minded, especially when faced with the struggles of high average amounts of student debt and high instances of unemployment.

5. Generation X - 1965-1980

Generation X comprises of people who were born between mid-1960s and late 1970s and are relatively a smaller demographic cohort compared to the preceding and succeeding generation of population booms. They were often called the “latchkey generation”, as it was theorized that high rates of divorce and a large amount of maternal participation in the workforce resulted in Generation X'ers being more commonly left to be on their own. The adolescents of Generation X were referred to as “MTV Generation”, which gained popularity during this time. This brought to Generation X the prominence of video games, hip hop, and alternative rock. The generation is known for producing a large number of entrepreneurs.

4. Baby Boomers - 1946-1964

Baby Boomers were born between between the mid 1940s and mid-1960s, during the post-World War II baby boom. The term “baby boomer” is used is used in cultural context making it difficult to arrive at a consensus on the precise dates for this generation. This generation experienced the highest peak in personal income ever experienced. Boomers came of age in a time of dramatic social change. In Europe and North America, this generation is associated with several privileges as most of the members grew up during the widespread government subsidies including education and housing. Baby Boomers control approximately 85% of personal financial assets and the majority of consumer spending. They also buy most of the prescription drugs and accounts for over 80% leisurely travel and tourism.

3. Silent Generation - 1925-1941

The Silent Generation is a demographic cohort comprising of people who were born between mid-1920 and mid-1940s. The generation is referred to as “silent” as the prevailing feeling that speaking out or participating in activism is dangerous, and that they should focus on careers. The generation has also been named “the Lucky Few” because despite the fact that they were born during the Great Depression they grew into adulthood during the prosperous years of the 1950s and 1960s. They also had higher employment rates compared to the generations before and after them. There was less causality among the Silent Generation who served in the Korean War like the previous generation. The Silent Generation was healthier and happier at retirement compared to the succeeding generations. Some of the notable members of this generation include Pope Francis, Malcolm X, Bernie Sanders, Fidel Castro, and Martin Luther King Jr.

2. G.I. Generation - 1901-1924

The G.I. Generation comprises of people who were born between the early 1900s and mid-to-late 1920s and are the fathers of the baby boomers and silent generation. The initials “G.I” are a military terminology which refers to “Government Issue” or “General Issue” and was coined by William Stauss and Neil Howe. The G.I. Generation is also called the “WWII Generation” because they took part in the World War II. They were named the "Greatest Generation" by Tom Brokaw because they are considered to have fought for what was right rather than fighting for personal selfish interest. The majority of G.I. Generation made a great sacrifice including their lives fighting to protect the people from the likes of Hitler and Mussolini.

1. The Lost Generation - 1883-1900

The Lost Generation is the generation that matured during the World War I. The generation is made up of people who were born between 1883 and 1900. The term “Lost Generation” was coined by novelist Gertrude Stein. The term “lost” does not mean vanished but wandering, disorganized, and directionless because of the great confusion and aimlessness that characterized the war survivors. Most of the Lost Generation writers included the War experience in most of their writing with most of their works based mythologized versions of their lives. The Lost Generation is fully ancestral in the US with the last member of this generation dying in 2016 with the last living members of this generation Emma Morano (1899), Nabi Tajima (1900), and Violet Brown (1900) living in Italy, Japan, and Jamaica respectively.

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