Name That Generation

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In today’s Chronicle of Higher Education (pay site – sorry – day passes available), this Student Affairs column looks at the terms used to describe different generations at any point in time.   Here are some that made the list.

The Lost Generation

Joe College

The Rioting Mobs

The Grinders

The Veterans

The Beat Generation

The Uncommitted

The Disaffiliated

The Underachievers

The Silent Generation

The Me Generation

The Collegiates

The Vocationals

The Nonconformists

The Disengaged Generation

The Shopping Mall Generation

The Organization Kid

Generation X

Generation Y

Generation O

The Draft Dodgers

The Digital Generation

Effete Corps of Impudent Snobs

The Bums

The Young Radicals

The Pampered Generation

The Searchers

The Hip-Hop Generation

The Sandwich Generation

The Echo Boomers

The Tidal Wavers

The Woodstock Generation

The 13th Generation

The Boomers

The Slackers

The Numb and Dumbers

The Ritalin Generation

The Twentysomething Generation

The Millennials

Gen Next

The Consumers

Generation Jones

The YouTube Generation

The Rock the Vote Generation

The Baby Boomers

The Whiners

The MTV Generation

The Dot-Com Generation

The War Babies

The Third Wave Feminists

The Greatest Generation

I can recognize more easily the terms that that don’t apply to my age cohort than those that do.   I know I’m not a Boomer, War Baby or a member of the Greatest Generation, Beat Generation, or Silent Generation.   I think I’m Generation X, but I did wear Pampers as a kid, I went to college, I   sometimes whine or disengage, I remember the early MTV VJ’s, have grinded, uncommitted, shopped at a mall, searched, eaten a sandwich and   danced a little hip hop (ok, maybe “The Worm” doesn’t count).

The categories aren’t clearly circumscribed, but they reflect a point someone wanted to make about how life experience at a particular place and in a particular time shapes human attitudes and behaviors.

More interesting that what label fits is what kind of human being each of us chooses to be.   Here, now, today.

-Bridget Crawford

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