March 13, 2023

“It’s human nature to cognitively structure our thinking—classifying, categorising, and constructing schemas to make sense of the world… I recall growing up with baby boomers giving out about GenX and vice versa. “OK, Boomer” is by no means a novel insult, just presented differently. Of course, since I was little, a new generation or two or maybe even three (depending on the conceptualisation you follow) has come into existence and has been the focus of discussion…how is it that some cite the generation as ranging roughly 10 to 15 years and others as 20? This presents an important contextual question: Is a generation a function of time (i.e., enough so to develop to adulthood before the onset of a new generation); or is it a function of key events that define the era (e.g., the fall of Berlin Wall or Internet availability in nearly every home)?…If we re-examine pre-Gen X, the Boomer generation is often broken down into two groups—one having come of age with the Vietnam War—”early Boomers”—and those who missed it—Generation Jones (i.e., 1955–1965). Arguably, Generation Jones might be considered a precursor or even the first stage of GenX (i.e., making the latter longer). But, then, coupling those instead would make the Boomer generation only 10 years… In determining what generation is what, all conceptualisations agree that there is a range and that said generation is “defined” by an event or series of events. However, an important issue that is largely missing from most conceptualisations (and is of utmost importance from a psychological standpoint) is the issue of to what generation did one’s parents belong…”

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