Strauss-Howe Generational Attitudes: Do They Vary A Lot Between 1975-1985?

Strauss-Howe Generational Attitudes: Do They Vary A Lot Between 1975-1985?

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This is a discussion on Strauss-Howe Generational Attitudes: Do They Vary A Lot Between 1975-1985? within the The Generations forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; If you were born right as Gen X birthing was "ending" and right as Gen Y birthing was "beginning" (of ...

  1. #1

    Strauss-Howe Generational Attitudes: Do They Vary A Lot Between 1975-1985?

    If you were born right as Gen X birthing was "ending" and right as Gen Y birthing was "beginning" (of course it's not concise or that clear, pending on your individual experience, family, and location of upbringing, or even values espoused in your family, et al) have a little different experience than those a little older or younger than you.

    I would think there would be more clear identification with one generation's world view or attitude if born smack in the middle of a generation. I've made a thread before about how the oldest Gen Y's remember the Fall of the Berlin Wall so have a different experience than their younger peers, and yet also have a different experience than the clear Gen X'ers who were more abstract thinking, rational teens and young adults when these political events occurred.

    This isn't about remembering world events or technology, this is about the supposed attitudes applied to the two Generations: Nomad and Hero.

    I have come to interpret Gen X as raging against the machine, questioning everything, living off the grid, and maybe even being totally apathetic and refusing to participate in politics or society at all.

    This of course will vary by Gen X'er. Of course some Gen X'ers are upstanding members of functioning society...and yet they constantly strive to challenge or get rid of old ways of being or thinking, including things like gender roles (yes Gen Y, you have Gen X to thank most notably for the gender role constructs crumbling, this begin as soon as the early 80s with the New Wave men wearing make-up and women with uber short hair, a very androgynous look was popular in the 80s - early on it was mostly liberal post-punks and artists; HOWEVER...even amongst more conservative young people, by the late 80s even Republican women were wearing shoulder pads and suits, to make themselves look less "dolled up" so they could be taken more seriously in business and politics).

    I have come to interpret Gen Y as actually wanting to participate in the community and create something new that is actually solid and "on the grid" though maybe with a completely different definition of on the grid than their parents or grandparents had, of actively rebuilding new and different ways of being, like a kind of social task force, and it's less clear to define since some members of Gen Y are still so young, and none of us are middle age (Strauss-Howe says this is around 40 years of old).

    As an older Gen Y, I think I spent my youth being as idealistic and sheltered as I was supposed to have been (yes, I am part of the gold star, self-esteem generation, just in its earlier incarnations instead of the more blatantly narcissistic newer one which frankly kind of scares me) ...but I also have showed traits of "raging against the machine" and being "off the grid" like a Gen X'er...but on the other hand I feel A PROFOUND RELIEF that my peers and up and coming and reassuring me that we don't just have to rage anymore, but that we can kind of bind together and actually construct a world based on new norms. It's like I was just waiting for my generation to become older so I could basically nearly cry in happiness to realize that I will be able to spend my middle age building instead of destroying.

    So in that sense I think I am more Gen Y. Hipsters actually give me hope.

    How about you? There may be some younger Gen X'ers who feel more Gen Y, or some older Gen Y's who have had early experiences of *somewhat* identifying with Gen X, only to feel more "in place" or "relieved" to see their own generation fully reaching adulthood (the youngest Gen Y's are all college age/over 18 now).

    Some older Gen Y's may totally identify with Gen X. I've seen it somewhat with certain people I went to school with, and the only word I can use to describe it is frankly disturbed. I feel like they aren't reaching their full potential to stay grid-locked into a mentality that was popular in their childhood and teens, intellectually wouldn't they want to identify more with the values of their young adulthood rather than their adolescence?

    Not that it matters either way, it says more about me than it does about them, but honestly it makes me feel uncomfortable. Kind of like when I was 12 in the 90s and would still see people wearing mullet hair cuts from the early 80s. Just a little creeped out by it.

    (Note that I kind of had this clash even with my ESFJ ex, who is only 1-2 years older than me, but he completely rejected politics of any kind, and who honestly saw me as one of the people trying to uphold or fix society while he just ignored or rebelled against it entirely unless it was "his people" i.e. his family and his neighborhood, and we would have ethical conflicts a lot because of our interpretation of certain films, for example; he was a lot more comfortable with destruction or nihilism or meaninglessness than I am. It's almost like I always want a meaningful ending even if I understand the film isn't something to emulate. I wonder if this is why I like a lot of younger guys now, or exactly my own age. Or maybe he was just very in touch with his inner ENTP. NVM.)

    How about you? Do you identify more with the archetype of the Nomad or the Hero, or a bit of both?

    Strauss-Howe Generational Theory
    Last edited by Thalassa; 05-27-2013 at 05:08 PM.

  2. #2

    I identify with the rational, ideologically pragmatic aspect of the hero archetype and the alienated, skeptical, and individualist aspect of the nomad archetype but I am a clear hero/Millennial by my birth year(1985). It is amazing how similar Gen X and the Lost generation of the 1920s are, they gave their respective decades(the 1920s and 1990s) it's jaded, individualist vibe.

    I find Howe's theory pretty accurate from 1890s on, the progressive era of the turn of the century has a lot in common with the counter-cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. They categorize these periods as second turnings/awakenings that are driven by a generation born after a major societal crisis like the civil war(1860-1865)and The Great Depression/World War 2(1929-1946). According to Neil Howe, as of 2013 we are in the early part of another societal crisis era known as a fourth turning that's expected to last until the late 2020s, he starts the current fourth turning to the financial crisis in 2008(2008-2029?). Gen Y/ Millennials are coming of age during this period and their civic, community focus will be much needed as the fourth turning continues. The combination of elder Baby Boomers in leadership and young adult Millennials is supposed to produce a potent force that gradually unites society towards a common goal, for instance the instant, mass mobilization of the US after the attack of Pearl Harbor in the last fourth turning.

    Society will go through a dramatic change like what happened during the late 1960s and 1970s but it will be on a more political/institutional level than cultural level. The risk of war will get higher when we approach the 2020s, in their book generations they actually call it "The Crisis of 2020", when society crosses a gate through history that will forever alter it's institutions and social framework. Seeing the extreme political polarization in the US, faltering, fragile economy, and instability in the Middle East is very troubling considering their theory. He's done a recent interview about the fourth turning and the role Millennials will play in it.


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