Stephen M.10/30/96Professor ShockleyGeneration Xers have been described as “fanatically independent individuals pathologically ambivalent about the future, and brimming with unsatisfied longings for permanence, for love, and for material possessions.” (Lauren, p.64) This less-than-flattering description of our generation has since been expanded by the media to the point that myself and my peers are described as a bunch of apathetic slackers unconcerned with family values, godless cynics resentful of the preceding generations.Since Douglas Couplands Book Generation X came out in 1991, many things have been said about the twentysomethings.Labeled by Coupland and the media as Generation X. Although the name has stuck, Couplands book is virtually impossible to find.
Why is that? Could it be because Generation X describes us, me, everyone who was born between the years of 1963-1983 as “white and privileged and living in a suburb near you” (Giles, p4). In addition, Advertising Age referred to Generation Xers as “That cynical, purple-haired blob watching TV.” (Giles, p2)What makes our generation so special, is that we have proven them all wrong.
Generation X consists of those between the ages 13 and 33 years of age. We as a group have become the productive, interested, and hardworking individuals that we are today. We have grown to realize that the futures undiscovered country is awaiting our arrival, and is there for the taking.It isnt at all ironic that during our short lives the world has seen so many changes. Through the work of our generation and the reactions of the Baby Boomers generation, we have helped turn this world into a new age of wisdom; a cut-the-crap, truth seeking generation, both richer and poorer because of it.
Do not feel threatened, however, our future, our generations future, and the future of the human race, is in the hands of the most informed generation to date. Growing up in an ever shrinking world. Xers mostly share an impatience with racism, greed, and ignorance (Lauren, p. 70). The common use of the computer opened the ever expanding horizons to the highways of the world throughout cyberspace.
Fact be known Gen X is neither white, nor rich, nor do they all live in a suburb near you. 70 percent of Xers are white, while 13 percent are black, 12 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian, and 1 percent are Native American (Giles, p4). In addition, according to a recent survey conducted by the sociology department at the University of Maryland, Generation Xers can now be classified by the term Neat (Carnoy, p.80) Dr. John P. Robinson recently supervised a telephone survey and concluded that 57 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds said that having a neat and clean house was “very important” to them (Carnoy, p. 80).
When compared to the Baby boomers, only 48 percent of the 30- to 49-year-olds felt the same way (Carnoy, p.80)Examples proving that Generation X is not a bunch of slackers are prevalent all through our society today. Swing, Might, Paper, Curio, and myriad other magazines are all published by Xers, for Xers. T.A.G. formally known as The Alternative Group is after representation.
” For too long our needs (Generation X) have gone ignored in our local, state, and national governments. In truth, we hope to be a grassroots lobbying force for our age group.” (TAG, Objectives) Adam Werbach (23) is breathing new life into the Sierra club, Americas oldest, largest, and most middle aged environmental group.
Thousands of Xers are popping up all over the place, taking the reins of society and quietly changing America.”Young People are less commited to their jobs now. My father started working for AT&T as soon as he graduated from college and he just retired last year, at 55, I dont know anyone my age who is likely to have the same situation. These days, three or four years is the longest anyone stays at one company.
People want more out of life than just a job. They want to be doing something they love, and they want to move up fast. Its no longer a sign of weakness to leave a job after a short stint. Now, it shows that youre ambitious.” (Schiman, Swing)”The Boring Twenties: Grow Up, Crybabies.
Youre Americas Luckiest Generation.” Headlined the Washington Times (Giles,p2) Unfortunately, but we arent Americas luckiest children. More than two-thirds of todays college and university students receive some sort of financial assistance during their academic career (T.A.G., Aid). It is no wonder then, that when the Congress begun talk of “cutting” financial aid, many campuses across the country made their voice heard loud and clear.
On top of that, many graduates entering the work force did so during the recession of 1990-1991. “Today the average full-time salary for a male between twenty-five and thirty-four is $26,197; the average for a female is $21,510 (Giles, p.4) For Generation Xers to grow up in homes where the divorce rate even hit 50% (Leveridge, p15) the could be considered Americas unluckiest children. The recent resurgence of retired people moving closer to college campuses is astounding. The number of Gen Xers that want interaction with the retirement community is unparalleled (Harris, p. 57).
After all this is said and done, Generation X has far surpassed proving their worth to the baby-boomers. Could the Baby-boomers nostalgia of the good ol days be the determining factor in the constant barrage of our generation. One day they will figure us out, but by then it will be too late. It is the drive, determination, and inspiration that our generation has, that will allow every single one of us conquer, and never be conquered. It is also this which brings us together, and defines us a generation, Generation X.Works citedAtwan, Robert, ed.
Our Times. 4th EditionBoston: Bedford 1995Carnoy, David. “Into the Great Divide.”Swing: September 1996: 80-81Forrest, Bret. “Douglas Coupland: Thoughts and Reality”Swing: July/Aug 1996: 75Giles, Jeff. “Generalizations X.”Our Times. Ed.
Robert Atwan. 4th edition Boston: Bedford, 1995Goldman, Debra. “Generalizations X.”Our Times. Ed.
Robert Atwan. 4th edition Boston: Bedford, 1995Harris, Lou. “Family Values.”Swing: September 1996: 81Lauren, David.
“Who We Are.”Swing: April 1996: 62-72Leveridge, Brett. “Men My Mother Dated”Might: Nov/Dec1996:16Liu, Eric. “Generalizations X.”Our Times.
Ed. Robert Atwan. 4th edition Boston: Bedford, 1995Schiman, Ben. “Work Life.”Swing: September 1996: 80T.A.G., “Electoral Objectives”Http://www.mindspring.com/^tag/electorial_objectives.html: 1-2T.A.G., “Securing the Future of Student Financial Aid”Http://www.mindspring.com/^tag/electorial_objectives.html: 1————————————————————–