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Generational Demographics The cycle of generations: understanding the future based on patterns from America’s past
What do F. Scott Fitzgerald and Tupac Shakur have in common? They both belong to generations with identical “live fast, die young, make a good-looking corpse” personalities - Fitzgerald’s Lost Generation and Tupac’s Generation X. It turns out, there’s a repeating pattern of generational personalities that can be seen from the Puritans’ time to today, and understanding that cycle is key to understanding the future.
Source for this slide show is the Generations Book. The Fourth Turning is a more accessible explanation of the same theories, and for quick access to more details, go to www.fourthturning.com
… between college students of the 60s…
… and college students of the 80s?
Between the neglected “elderly” in the 50s
….and the socially and politically powerful “senior citizens” of the 80s?
Between the young, eager-to-enlist men at the start of WWII…
Hell no, we won’t go
… and the “hell no, we won’t go!” protesters of the Vietnam War?
G.I. GenerationBorn: 1901 - 1924Type: CivicAge Location:Great Depression–WWII Crisis in rising adulthood, Boom Awakening in elderhood
Silent GenerationBorn: 1925 - 1942Type: AdaptiveAge Location:Great Depression–WWII Crisis in youth, Boom Awakening in midlife
Sanitation workers on strike in Memphis, 1968. Almost all of the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement were members of the Silent Generation. Boomers are often thought of as the ones who marched in the streets protesting, but the Vietnam War protest movement was inspired by the Civil Rights movement before it, and many of the thought leaders of both were Silent Generation.
Boom GenerationBorn: 1943 - 1960Type: IdealistAge Location:Boom Awakening in rising adulthood, Millenial Crisis in elderhood
Young Boomers climbing atop Grant’s Statue in Chicago, during the Vietnam War protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, at which many of them got their heads bashed in by Chicago Police and National Guard troops in a night of violent suppression that boiled in the streets outside while the convention continued, uninterrupted.
Thirteenth GenerationBorn: 1961 - 1981Type: ReactiveAge Location:Boom Awakening in youth, Millenial Crisis in midlife
Robert Downey Jr. In Brett Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero, the iconic portrayal of this generation, aka Gen X.
Obama, though born in 1960, is firmly Gen X. If anything, the fact that he pisses off both extremes of Boomers confirms this.
Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, is one of the few whose company survived the 2000 “dot.bomb.”
Young Gen X officers in Iraq had little training in Arabic language or culture, and no training to handle I.E.D.s, the opposition’s weapon of choice. They are working with what Lieutenant Colonel Leonard Wong (retired), a research professor of military strategy at the Army War College, calls "a surprising lack of detailed guidance from higher headquarters." Whatever else the Iraq war is doing to American power and prestige, it is producing the creative and flexible junior officers that the Army's training could not.” These will be the ones who lead their Millennial troops in the upcoming (current?) crisis.
Russell Simmons, though older, has a distinctly Gen-X entrepreneurial genius.
Millennial GenerationBorn: 1982 - 200xType: CivicAge Location:Millenial Crisis in rising adulthood
Although Macaulay Culkin is a last-wave Gen X by birth, the character that he plays in the “Home Alone” movies portrays exactly the kind of child that Boomers want to raise - assertive, intelligent, and with a can-do attitude - the antidote for those (percieved) nihilistic slackers, Gen X.
Unwilling to take his elders’ characterizations of Middle Easterners, 20-something Jared Cohen decided to travel to that part of the world to find out for himself. The resulting book, “Children of Jihad: A Young American's Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East,” shows that he finds that there is more that unites the youth of Israeli and Arabic cultures than divides them. “To his credit, Cohen rarely hides the fact that he is Jewish and American, and his openness appears to have been highly respected among the people he encountered—it’s also one of the primary reasons why this book makes for such compelling reading.“ This is characteristic of the Millennial generation - they have more tolerance for differences of ethnicity, sexual orientation, and ideology than any of the older generations alive today.