X, Y and the Lost Generation: A look at youth after the baby-boom and today
There is much written of Generation X and Y, and until recently, much evolving discussion of the prospective Generation Z. However, 2009 and the continuing global recession has stopped the logical progression of generational classification in its tracks – and has introduced the world to a group of youngsters called (initially by Wes Streeting, president of the UK’s National Union of Students) ‘Generation Crunch’.
nThe term: ‘Generation X’ is quite relative in regards to the way it is used, and despite often being in reference to American teenagers it was actually first used in the UK with the published study of 60’s teenagers: “Generation X” by Jane Deverson and Charles Hamblett. Today the term usually refers to the segment of the population that was born after the baby boom (from the mid-1940s to 1960, approx.) and before the 1970s. Sociologically, UK and US Generation X-ers lived through Reagan and Thatcher, and saw the rise of MTV, computer games, hip-hop and post-punk.
nLogically, ‘Generation Y’ is said to have come after and refers generally to those born between 1980 and the late-1980s – although, of course, there are many other varying dates used by different commentators. Sociologically, mass media and communication was well established when Generation Y-ers were young, and they are often referred to as digital natives or the digital generation – seeing the rise of the internet, mobile phones and social networking.
nIn 2009 those at the tail end of ‘Generation Y’ who are graduating from college are being described as ‘Generation Crunch’. The arrival of this spontaneous classification is needed in order to refer to those entering the uniquely recession-hit workplace which is already said to be saturated and highly competitive – but is predicted to be considerably different to that experienced in the early 2000s.
nNot only will the ‘Generation Crunchers’ develop a more mature approach to money, savings and credit than those who were pre-crunch, but reports (such as those seen in The Guardian) suggest that they will be more acutely aware of the importance of further education and being distinctive when it comes to personality and job training in a highly competitive society. This notion is set to be endorsed by the continuing development in the accessibility of education via means such as online study and e-Learning degree courses, as well as open content available on the internet.
nAlthough the notion of ‘Generation Z’ is continually evolving, as we see the west gradually clamber out of the recession, it seems that those graduating five years from now will be experiencing a quite different social and economic landscape – and one that is more in keeping with what we expected from ‘Generation Z’.
Posted Date: 2009-07-14 13:24:09