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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Rejecting the boomer label

The "baby boom" label was applied to all Americans born between 1946 and 1962, because these dates bracket a period of unusually high birthrates. But a generation is not simply an age bracket: History, attitudes, behavior, and self-identification are also a factor. And when you think about Americans born in the 5 or 6 years following, say, 1959, it's impossible to lump them in with the boomers. (NB: I was born in the late '60s, so I'm not talking about my own generation. I'm defending the generational integrity of my immediate elders.)

"Generation Obama vs. The Boomers"
Boston Globe

Back when boomers were more elitist, if you didn't march on Washington, party at Woodstock, or join a commune, you simply weren't considered part of the glorious flower child zeitgeist.

Obviously a good dose of old-fashioned humility has left them scrambling to expand their ranks by classifying Generation Jones (whose members they once derided) as fellow boomers.

Comments on "Rejecting the boomer label"


Anonymous Rhea said ... (4:55 AM) : 

I really don't like the term "baby boomer." I use it because everyone knows what it refers to, but I think it sounds dumb. I mean, who wants to be labeled 'baby' when they are in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and later on, in their 70s and up?! And the cute alliteration makes me sick.


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