Gen X 1960-1980

March 11, 2013 by  

Generation X is considered to be the people born between 1960-1980, probably children of Baby Boomers. I want to mention 2 characteristics – 1. guiding philosophy and 2. relationship with authority – and how how these important qualities show significant differences between these generations. The distinctions probably baffle both sides.

1. Guiding Philosophy- Baby Boomers are marked by striving for ‘authenticity’ in their lives. They”ve been working on this for years and are carrying it into old age. At the same time, their self concept is that of endlessly fulfilling responsible duties. On the other hand, Gen Xers are endlessly experimenting with who they are and how to shape themselves (literally and figuratively). They are very concerned with always having choices.

2. Relationship to Authority – Baby Boomers have always challenged authority and pride themselves on continuing to believe that this is a good thing

to do. Gen Xers ignores authority and accept change as the rule rather than as the exception.

We shouldn’t be surprised that we don’t understand each other very well. You can see it in families as the generations are confused and you can see it in law firms, universities, and organizations where these differences play out all the time, baffling the participants as they experience the chasm that separates them.