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GETTING ALONG WITH THE GENERATIONS

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  1. GETTING ALONG WITH THE GENERATIONS Dr. Randy Lumpp Regis University Adapted especially from the work of Neil Howe and William Strauss

  2. What’s a “generation”? • A social cohort shaped by common experience and common persona • Born over a periodroughly the same as the passage from youth to adulthood (c. 20 years) • Shares perceivedmembership, common beliefs and behaviors, common location in history Getting Along

  3. What a Generation is NOT! • NOT a recipe for individual behavior • NOT a predictor of individual values • NOT the only factor in what people do or don’t do • NOT a list of virtues and vices • NOT a stereo-type Getting Along

  4. THINK OF GENERATION AS….. • AN ATMOSPHERE • AN ENVIRONMENT • AN ORIENTATION • A MOOD • A GESCHTALT, A SENSIBILITY • A CONTEXT FOR WHAT IS CREDIBLE, PLAUSIBLE, TO BE EXPECTED Getting Along

  5. Each generation views events and the other generations from its own point of view--- Like boats floating down a river in sequence Getting Along

  6. EXPERIENCING FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES, CONTEXTS • GIs: BUILD INSTITUTIONS • SILENT: RUN INSTITUTIONS • BOOMERS: REFORM OR ABANDON INSTITUTIONS • GEN-X: GET WHAT THEY NEED FROM INSTITUTIONS • MILLENNIALS:PARTICIPATE IN INSTITUTIONS • iGEN: ?? Getting Along

  7. GENERATIONS ARE IN MOTION • Childhood (pueritia, age 0–20). Social role: growth (receiving nurture, acquiring values). • Young Adulthood (iuventus, age 21–41). Social role: vitality (serving institutions, testing values). • Midlife(virilitas, age 42–62). Social role: power (managing institutions, applying values). • Elderhood (senectus, age 63–83). Social role: leadership (leading institutions, transferring values). • Late Elderhood (age 84+). Social role: dependence (receiving comfort from institutions, remembering values). Getting Along

  8. WHAT ARE RECENT GENERATIONS? NICKNAMEBORNNUMBER • LOST 1883-1900 45M • G.I 1901-1924 63M • SILENT 1925-1942 49M • BOOMER 1943-1960 79M • XER 1961-1981 93M • MILLENNIAL 1982-2002 76M Getting Along

  9. GENERATION AGES 2010 • GI 1901-1924 109-86 • SILENT 1925-1942 85-68 • BOOMER 1943-1960 67-50 • GEN X 1961-1981 49-29 • MILLENNIAL 1982-2000 28-10 Getting Along

  10. CYCLE OF GENERATIONS IDEALIST-PROPHET [NF] REACTIVE-NOMAD [NT] CIVIC-HERO [SJ] ADAPTIVE-ARTIST [SP] Getting Along

  11. CYCLE OF ERASYoung adults coming of age • AWAKENING ERA Idealists • INNER-DRIVEN ERA Reactives • CRISIS ERA Civics • OUTER-DRIVEN ERA Adaptives Getting Along

  12. GENERATIONAL LIFE CYCLE • YOUTH 0-21 • RISING ADULT 22-43 • MIDLIFE 44-65 • ELDER 66-87 Getting Along

  13. IDEALIST: BOOMER • Dominant inner-fixated • Grows up post-crisis, indulged • Comes of age w/ spiritual awakening • Matures into risk taking • Fragments into narcissistic adults • Moralistic Mid-lifers • Visionary Elders Getting Along

  14. REACTIVE: GEN-X • Grows up under-protected, criticized • Matures into risk taking, alienated adults • Mellows into pragmatic mid-lifers • Respected but reclusive elders Getting Along

  15. CIVIC: MILLENNIALS • Dominant, outer-fixated builders • Grows up over-protected • Comes of age in secular crisis • Heroic and achieving adults • Building Institutions as mid-lifers • Busy Elders attacked by new Idealists Getting Along

  16. ADAPTIVE: SILENT • Recessive • Grows up overprotective, suffocated • Matures risk-adverse, conformist • Indecisive Mid-lifers (no agenda) • Respected as sensitive elders Getting Along

  17. WHAT DEFINES A NEW GENERATION? • Solves a problem facing the prior youth generation • Corrects for behavioral excesses it perceives in the current midlife generation • Fills the social role being vacated by the departing elder generation Getting Along

  18. WHAT’S THE “LIFE-CYCLE” OF A GENERATION? • Public discovers the new youth (15-20 years after first birth year) • Full possession of youth culture (20-25 years) • Gets maximum public attention (25-30 years) • Ebbing of public interest (30-35 years) Getting Along

  19. What is GENERATION –X? 13th Generation: Reactive, Nomad, born 1961–1981 • Survived a “hurried” childhood of divorce, latchkeys, open classrooms • Images: devil-child movies (Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist), Kevin in Home Alone, Marty McFly in Back to the Future, Ferris Buehler.., Dumb & Dumber, Adam Sandler • First generation legally aborted by its parents Getting Along

  20. What is GENERATION –X? • Shift from G to R ratings (Sex in the City, South Park, Beavis and Butthead) • Came of age curtailing the earlier rise in youth crime and fall in test scores • Heard themselves denounced as so wild and stupid as to put The Nation At Risk. Getting Along

  21. What is GENERATION –X? • As young adults, maneuvering through a sexual battlescape of AIDS and blighted courtship rituals • They date and marry cautiously. • In jobs, they embrace risk and prefer free agency over loyal corporatism Getting Along

  22. What is GENERATION –X? • From grunge to hip-hop, their splintery culture reveals a hardened edge • Politically, they lean toward pragmatism and non-affiliation, and would rather volunteer than vote Getting Along

  23. What is GENERATION –X? • Lowest Test Scores • High rates of crime, suicide, drugs “…an army of aging Bart Simpsons, possibly armed and dangerous.” NYT • Realized adults were not in control of themselves or the country • Many Parallels with Lost of the 1920s Getting Along

  24. GEN-X IMAGES/PERCEPTIONS • Tom Cruise in Top Gun • The Breakfast Club • In-your-face slam dunks & end zone spikes • “lost” “wasted” “ruined” “soulless” • Sell themselves to the highest bidder Getting Along

  25. GEN-X IMAGES/PERCEPTIONS • Gen X Steroids vs. Boomer psychedelics • Jay Leno: “We’re not talking brain cells here. We’re talking taste buds.” • Computer hackers • War Games, Red Dawn, Lone Eagle (NB: “Lone Eagle” was Lost-Gen hero Charles Lindberg’s nickname) Getting Along

  26. X-er SELF-PERCEPTIONS • Pragmatic, quick, sharp-eyed • Quick to catch on to the game of life (especially when they’re out to get you) -rising costs, no economic welcome mat -declining benefits -money is survival “If we don’t take care of ourselves, no one will.” Getting Along

  27. VIEW OF SCHOOL AND SOCIETY • Grew up with • the critique of Dead White Males • That there was no indispensable knowledge (so schools didn’t teach it) • Urging to be self-reliant, independent, self-actualizing • Surviving in the aftermath of Woodstock and being ticketed for littering Getting Along

  28. “All you need is love” replaced with Gangsta’ Rap • Nightmare of self-absorbed parents, disintegrating homes, latch-key life, • Institutions with conflicting missions, confused adults • Aids and other public health crises • Alex Keaton: the “proto-adult” Getting Along

  29. “stupid” “bad” “random” are words of praise • David Elkind: “the patch-work self” • “So many things have already happened in the world that we can’t possibly come up with anything else. So why even live?” • “Teenage Mutant Turtles: “Flushed down the toilet as children, deformed by radiation, nurtured on junk food” Getting Along

  30. THE X-ER X-PERIENCE • “Born on Friday the 13th”—13th American Generation--- Fear it or face it • “Baby Busters”—Even though more of them than Boomers • 20 Million Aborted- last wave 1 in 3 • Adult women - 1962: 50% stay married for the kids -1980: 80% say no Getting Along

  31. THE X-ER X-PERIENCE • 4/5 of today’s divorced adults say they’re happier. The majority of their kids say not. • 1980: • 56% had both once-married parents • 11 w/ a stepparent • 19 w/ one parent • The risk of parental divorce for Gen-X kids: • 2 times that of 60s Boomers • 3 times that of 50s Silents Getting Along

  32. THE X-ER X-PERIENCE • 1960-80: Mother of preschoolers in the workplace went from 20% to 47% • “Latch-key” kids doubled • Lack of parental authority • Boomer grade inflation dropped • School funding dropped • Poverty benefits & wages dropped Getting Along

  33. THE X-ER X-PERIENCE • Most Republican generation on record • Lower risk from disease but • Higher risk of dying from murder, suicide, accident • 135,000 guns went to school each day • Fear of physical harm in school • College completion: • Boomer Class of 1972 58% • Xer Class of 1980 37% Getting Along

  34. THE X-ER X-PERIENCE • Most heavily incarcerate generation on record (number and length) • 1 in 5 lived in poverty • Believe if unemployed its their own fault • As adults, median income fell 17% • Elders deferred debt to young • Rise of the “cynical American” Getting Along

  35. THE X-ER X-PERIENCE • The experience of childhood became “scattered” as Boomers pursued self-realization (emulated by aging Silents) • Experienced the opposite of sacrificed-for Boomers. • “My Three Sons” to “My Two Dads” • Adults were the children: children got to deal with the garbage. Getting Along

  36. THE X-ER X-PERIENCE RISING ADULTHOOD • Increased poverty especially in inner-cities • Family subsidized suburbanites • McJobs • Less promising promotion paths • “No Problem” see as the best to be hoped for Getting Along

  37. What is GENERATION –X? • Widely criticized as “X-ers” or “slackers,” they inhabit a Reality Bites economy of declining young-adult living standards • Tom Cruise, Jodie Foster, Michael J. Fox, Michael Dell, Deion Sanders, Winona Ryder, Quentin Tarantino; Mike Tyson; Eddie Murphy; Princess Di Getting Along

  38. TIPS FOR WORKING WITH GEN-X • REMEMBER: “We have to take care of ourselves, because no one else will!” • Don’t expect concern (or even awareness) of organization’s well-being • Want to work-to-live versus Boomer live-to-work-aholism • Pay attention to cost-benefit ratio • “Community Service” is a punishment Getting Along

  39. WHO ARE THE MILLENNIALS? • High school grads of 2000 • Older parents • Smaller families • 40% firstborns • More educated parents • Slowly stabilizing family patterns • More diverse culturally/immigrant parents Getting Along

  40. WHO ARE THE MILLENNIALS? SEVEN CORE TRAITS • SPECIAL • SHELTERED • CONFIDENT • TEAM-ORIENTED • CONVENTIONAL • PRESSURED • ACHIEVING Getting Along

  41. http://www.flypmedia.com/issues/24/#1/1 Getting Along

  42. Millennials’ Experience: Greater Numbers Getting Along

  43. More Money Getting Along

  44. Greater Diversity Getting Along

  45. Greater Safety Which Security Measures Do You Favor? • Metal detectors in schools: 86% • Regulating violent video games & TV shows: 69% • Restricting violence in movies & on CDs: 59% --survey of adults and teens, in USA Weekend (July 4, 1999) Getting Along

  46. Changing families Getting Along

  47. Health expectations Death Rate per 10,000 U.S. Births: 1946 1996 • For Mothers: 16 1 • For infants: 338 72 --U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (1999) Getting Along

  48. No place to hide Getting Along

  49. Stress on health/well-being Getting Along

  50. Attention to health issues Child Immunization Rate (full series) 1992: 55% 1996: 75% -- Donna Shalala, Secretary of Health and Human Services (April 10, 1999) Getting Along