Saturday, February 1, 2014

Rating boomers

Notionally, baby-boomers are born between 1946 to 1964. Experentially, that is nonsense. If you entered the work force after the advent of mass unemployment, you are not a baby-boomer. At least, not in the full deal sense. Just as if the 1960s did not overlap with puberty, you are not a baby-boomer in the full-deal sense. 

The full-deal baby-boomers lived through the young family social focus 1950s as those young children society was focused on. They reached puberty in the 1960s to provide the numbers for the summer of love and the years after. They experienced a massive broadening of higher education and, if so inclined, could relatively easily aspire to jobs in academe. If not, entering the workforce was a pretty painless process. Long hair was fashionable when they were young, and shaved heads when they started balding. Comfortable retirement was almost a given expectation. The world arranged itself for their convenience more than any generation before and, in many ways, any cohort since.

These were not the experiences of those born later.

The New York Times has produced a "what type of boomer are you?" quiz. A related article points out the very different experiences of the two halves of the "baby boom". It is very US-focus, but it does point out how very different the collective experiences of the full and shadow baby-boomers were. 

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