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None of these generations sounds especially appealing in this presentation. Preaching constantly... yuck... being jaded and believing in nothing... yuck... everyone working toward the One Ideal... still not appealing...
 

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This is a great video that very succinctly explains what drives the different generations as a whole. It is based on Strauss & Howe theory. To learn more about Strauss & Howe's research and findings: Strauss

Let me use a Star Wars analogy: Hero - Luke Skywalker. Nomad - Han Solo/Princess Leai. Prophet - Obi Won Kinobi/Darth Vader. Artist - Yoda
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Anyone can draw pretentious diagrams on a piece of construction paper and call it "theory".
None of these generations sounds especially appealing in this presentation. Preaching constantly... yuck... being jaded and believing in nothing... yuck... everyone working toward the One Ideal... still not appealing...
Is this information offensive to the generations? If so, it was not meant to come across that way.

I have had a particular interest in studying the different generations in our country (it particularly began because I myself can relate to both millennials and gen x).

I've read a lot on Neil Strauss and William Howe, who developed their generational theory back in the 80's/early 90's after researching generational history back to 1584 and noticing a clear pattern in societal behavior that changed every 20 to 30 years, but then repeated every 80 to 100 year cycle. It's fully discussed in their 1991 book Generations (Amazon.com: Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 (9780688119126): Neil Howe, William Strauss: Books) and their 1997 book The Fourth Turning (Amazon.com: The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy - What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny (9780767900461): William Strauss, Neil Howe: Books)

It is, of course, a theory, and is not necessarily correct or incorrect, but quite a bit of research went into it so I figured it would be well worth sharing. The video I shared above, made by The Gen X Files, I thought would be a good way to share the gist of the theory, as the books are pretty exhaustive, but it doesn't cover all their theory and may have glossed it over too much in retrospect if it has been taken the wrong way. I'll try to find some Strauss and Howe interviews to share, and you of course now have the links to the books to order or check out at your library if you are also a nerd about this stuff, which I'm guessing you are, being in this forum and all ;).

More nuanced videos on Strauss & Howe generational theory to come.
 

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The baby boomer generation description and my personality type description would have me constantly at war with myself.
Who else has found that the description of your generation clashes with the description of your personality type?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The baby boomer generation description and my personality type description would have me constantly at war with myself.
Who else has found that the description of your generation clashes with the description of your personality type?
I personally find a marked difference in my personality type (ENTJ/Enneagram 8) and the blanket generational description in that particular video of millennials. I am very independent, entrepreneurial and I'd rather be in charge of/leading something than working together towards something.

When looking at any generational theory though, I think the object is more to look at a generation's reaction in society as a whole. Every generation will have its own artists, leaders, entrepreneurs, mavericks, etc., etc. I look at it more as there being all kinds of individual psychology existing within social psychology. I think it's never a totally cut and dry dynamic, though we tend to want it to be. Thus the theories, which are fun to explore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Neil is the pick up artist. :tongue: I like your mind.
Ha, I caught that mistake after I posted that and was hoping no one else would. Meant Neil Howe and William Strauss. I've been mixing their names up on the regular lately. Had no idea I was actually referring to the pick up artist when I made this mistake though, lol. :tongue:
 

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The whole "Generation" thing is a bit silly anyway. There's always gonna be a single-year cut-off, in which instance two people born just one year apart will be placed in completely different generations yet grow up with near identical cultural experiences.

I for one can identify with traits found in both Gen X and Gen Y. But to say I've more in common with my '68-born Aunt (Gen X) than my '85 born friends (Gen Y) is absurd because it's completely and utterly not true. As a 1980-born, my experiences are far closer to my '85 friends (being only 5 years difference) than my Aunt's (being 12 years difference). And no matter where one draws the cut-off for a generation, this problem arises. Therefore it's all kinda pointless.

Sure, there is always a certain political and cultural zeitgeist. But as far as people go, you are going to have a similar experience to anyone born within 5 years or so of you than 15 years of you. Generations be damned.
 

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I completely agree with this. At its most extreme, you could have identical twins born around midnight of the cutoff year, with one twin in one generation and the other in the next generation. How silly would that be?
So, according to Strauss Howe, my experiences are supposed to be closer to someone born in 1943 (13 years difference) than 1961 (five years difference).
This I think that you're right, @Moss Icon. The generation thing is completely absurd.
I'd rather talk about bad fashions of the past and TV shows anyway, lol.

The whole "Generation" thing is a bit silly anyway. There's always gonna be a single-year cut-off, in which instance two people born just one year apart will be placed in completely different generations yet grow up with near identical cultural experiences.

I for one can identify with traits found in both Gen X and Gen Y. But to say I've more in common with my '68-born Aunt (Gen X) than my '85 born friends (Gen Y) is absurd because it's completely and utterly not true. As a 1980-born, my experiences are far closer to my '85 friends (being only 5 years difference) than my Aunt's (being 12 years difference). And no matter where one draws the cut-off for a generation, this problem arises. Therefore it's all kinda pointless.

Sure, there is always a certain political and cultural zeitgeist. But as far as people go, you are going to have a similar experience to anyone born within 5 years or so of you than 15 years of you. Generations be damned.
 

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I for one can identify with traits found in both Gen X and Gen Y. But to say I've more in common with my '68-born Aunt (Gen X) than my '85 born friends (Gen Y) is absurd because it's completely and utterly not true. As a 1980-born, my experiences are far closer to my '85 friends (being only 5 years difference) than my Aunt's (being 12 years difference).
As another 1980 baby, my experience is actually the complete opposite of yours. I find I have much more in common with people born in the 60s than I do with people born in the mid to late 80s. The age difference is irrelevant, it's the common ideals. Even in regards to pop culture, I have a far deeper knowledge and affinity for GenX pop culture than I do for Millennial pop culture. People born on the cusp of the arbitrary dateline are always going to special cases. Some will identify with one generation more than another, or they may identify equally with both of them, or sometimes neither of them. It's meant to be viewed as a period of transition, not an absolute line in the sand.

Obviously when you attempt to find commonalities between millions of people there's going to be a lot of statistical outliers. The generations aren't meant to be taken as an exact science, merely to describe the general tone of that generation as whole. I personally don't see a huge amount of use for it apart from another label for people to slap on themselves, but I wouldn't go so far as to write the whole thing off either.
 

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As another 1980 baby, my experience is actually the complete opposite of yours. I find I have much more in common with people born in the 60s than I do with people born in the mid to late 80s. The age difference is irrelevant, it's the common ideals. Even in regards to pop culture, I have a far deeper knowledge and affinity for GenX pop culture than I do for Millennial pop culture. People born on the cusp of the arbitrary dateline are always going to special cases. Some will identify with one generation more than another, or they may identify equally with both of them, or sometimes neither of them. It's meant to be viewed as a period of transition, not an absolute line in the sand.

Obviously when you attempt to find commonalities between millions of people there's going to be a lot of statistical outliers. The generations aren't meant to be taken as an exact science, merely to describe the general tone of that generation as whole. I personally don't see a huge amount of use for it apart from another label for people to slap on themselves, but I wouldn't go so far as to write the whole thing off either.
Hmmm. What were your experiences like growing up? Did you gravitate towards "retro" stuff and older people?

What I'm kinda saying is that those of us born in 1980 would have known little first-hand about things going on politically and culturally in the actual 80s. Well, maybe after a certain age or so we'd start to get clued in, but when I talk to '85-born friends about what we actually remember, the differences in our experiences are minimal. At most it's stuff like them not quite remembering the collapse of the Berlin Wall, but us both remembering clearly the start of the 1st Iraq War. We generally find very little significant difference in the cartoons we grew up with, the music we remember, the major events we recall, etc. People born in the 60s would clearly remember all the 80s - it would have been their teens/turning 20 period in fact and thus very impactful a time-period.

Who we identify with is another matter entirely. If you identify more with older Gen Xers, that's more a personal identity thing. Personally-speaking, I identify mainly with people born '78 to '85 because I started university a little later, at 23. Thus many of my friends are either the same age (childhood friends) or 4/5 years younger, and these are the guys I relate most to. I imagine if I'd gone to uni at 18 then I'd find myself feeling less in common with mid-80s borns. But I guess my point is that regardless of whom we identify with, the actual cultural and political climate we experienced during, say, our teens (mid-late 90s for you & me, late-90s-early 21st century for my friends), shares more in common than the experiences of the older Gen Xers (teens in the early-mid 80s).

What have your experiences been? Do you know what it is that draws you to older Gen-Xers more than Gen-Yers?

I've no particular problem with Generations being used to define a particular era and the socio-political/cultural sentiment of that era. There are definitely trends that take and last and sort of "define" an age. But when it comes to people, it's just not gonna fly because people are not born in chunks then society takes a rest. People are always being born and everyone's experience is going to differ ever-so-slightly from year-to-year. An 80-born may have similar experiences to a '76 born and an '84 born, but the '84 born and the '76 born may have little experience in common.

On the whole I think it might be better to actually have a transitional category for Generations to accommodate "cuspers" like us.
 

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@Moss Icon What were my experiences? Hmmm...Where do I even start with that question? Keep in mind this is coming from a North American perspective.

Pop culture in my teen years was still solidly Gen X, so there was no "retro" required. The grunge scene was still very active. Fashion was all about the baggy jeans and greasy hair. Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Green Day were at the height of their popularity. Aerosmith was in the midst of their huge comeback, Tupac was still alive, everyone still listened to Pink Floyd. For movies, it was John Hughes flicks, Clerks, Wayne's World, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

In terms of global events, I clearly remember the Challenger explosion and the Berlin Wall coming down.

In regard to tech, I'm probably more in tune with the Millenials. My dad has always been a complete techno-nerd :D We had a computer in the house by the time I was 4. I remember being one of the only kids in my high school to have a cell phone. We had home internet practically the day it became publicly available, but I most definitely remember the pre-www world. I learned to type using a typewriter, everyone had dot matrix printers, 5" floppy disks and it was still common for a computer to be the size of a Volkswagen.

From the day I started school, I've just always associated with people who are older than me, whether by choice or circumstance. While people born in the 60s and 70s definitely had some very different childhood experiences than I did, I find that in terms of general outlook on life and ideals etc, I relate more to them than I do to people born in the mid to late 80s. Even though I may not know all the pop culture references, I still feel like I have more in common with them than someone who is 4 or 5 years younger than me.

I've heard the suggestion of a transitional generation before. It does have merits, but even then there will be people on the cusp. The entire generational thing is definitely an imperfect system. I still find it all quite interesting though.
 

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I consider this generation y's manifesto. In Op's vid the guy was asking what gen Y's ideals are. Imo this one kind of says it right and it is sort of a reaction to GenX.

 

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As a human being (not as a member of a "generation"), I feel that it is my responsibility to leave this world a better place than the one I found. Maybe I can do only small things, like plant trees. But I can do something. All is not lost unless people believe it is. That video in the above post said it perfectly. Thank you.
 

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@GenXer love your videos. I'm an older Gen Y (born 1982) and can relate to some of her references. Have you by chance read the book X Saves the World by Jeff Gordinier? My husband recently read it and said he really enjoyed it. It's on my list to read next. :)

Amazon.com: X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking (9780143115151): Jeff Gordinier: Books

Offff course ;-)

Are you sure you're an older Gen Y? An Xer and an older Gen Y would have borrowed that book @ the local library lol instead of buying it. Just kidding.
 
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