Games of Generational One-upsmanship
Comparing the young adults of Boomers, Gen X, and Gen Y (Millennial) and comparisons each makes of succeeding ones.
History of Each Generation
Those born after Jan. 1, 1943 were included in the draft for WWII.
Race riots plagued Detroit in 1943, and caused 25 African American deaths.
1944, F.D.R was elected president.
June 6, 1944- D-Day
In 1945, WWII ends, which spurs the creation of the United Nations.
The end of WWII also generates economic growth.
The U.S. organized airlifts to Berlin because of the Russian Blockade in 1948.
Soviets stopped the U.S. airlifts in 1949.
In 1949 NATO was created in response to escalating Soviet bomb testing.
After the war, soldiers came home and made babies. Thus, the population boomed by 18.4% to 178 million.
Urbanization swells causing a growth in land value of 3000% within a decade.
The first birth control pill was produced in 1952, however was not available until 1960.
The first nuclear power plant accident occurred in Canada in 1952.
Between the years 1949, and 1952 the number of televisions grew from 1 million to 20 million.
Supreme Court rules racial segregation violates the 14th amendment in 1954
1955, rock and roll produced it's first anthems.
The Polio vaccine was developed and declared safe for use in 1955
Also in 1955, Disney land opened it's doors for the first time.
Martin Luther King organizes a large scale bus boycott, putting him in a leadership position for the civil rights movement after Rosa Parks refused to leave her seat in 1955.
Sputnik was released U.S.S.R. in 1957
NASA was established in 1958, and sent its first satellite
Castro comes to power in Cuba in 1959.
The microchip is invented (1959)
1960, John F. Kennedy was elected president.
Generation X (1961-1981):
The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962
John Glen orbits the earth in 1962
Racial tension on a rise during J.F.K.'s presidency
November 22, 1963 J.F.K. is assassinated in Dallas, Texas
Martin Luther King delivers his famous "I have a dream" speech in 1963
Nuclear Submarine U.S.S. Threshner sinks off the coast of Cape Cod killing 129 Navy men in 1963
In 1964, Civil Rights bill is passed
In 1965, Malcolm X heads powerful civil rights movement.
Betty Friedan heads the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1965.
Robert F. Kennedy assassinated in 1968.
Neil Armstrong makes his historic walk on the moon, making the U.S. to be the first to put a man on the moon in 1969.
Gay rights movement begins to gain influence within communities (1969)
Sesame Street airs for the first time on national television in 1969.
26th Amendment is passed to lower the voting age to 18 in 1971.
Supreme Court upholds new measures of bussing students to school in order to promote diversity and integration in 1971.
World Trade Center is completed in 1973, becoming New York's 'calling card' and was the world's tallest building for only one year.
Global energy crisis of 1973
1975-Vietnam War ends with 1.3 million Vietnamese, and 56,000 Americans dead.
Disco is the new trend in music in 1975
1976, Supreme Court rules Death Penalty constitutional
98% of U.S. households have a television by the year 1978
Worlds first test-tube baby is born in London in 1978
Largest oil spill of it's time occurs in the Gulf of Mexico in 1979, spilling 3.5 million gallons of oil
Terrorists seize over 60 hostages in American Embassy in Iran (1979)
Voyager I is sent by NASA to explore Saturn in 1980
Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington also in 1980
John Lennon is shot in New York in 1980
AIDS is classified as an epidemic beginning of 1981.
Assassination attempts on Pope John Paul II and Reagan
1st woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court is Sandra Day O'Conner in 1975
Generation Y/ Millennial (1982-2003):
Arab-Israeli war rises again when Israel invades Lebanon and attacks PLO resistance.
In 1982, the first ever heart transplant is performed successfully.
One of the first terrorist attacks against the U.S. is organized in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon in 1983.
Another terrorist attack occurs in U.S. Marine and French barracks, killing 248 Americans and 58 French
In 1983, Cell phones gain popularity
Crack cocaine is produced for the first time.
The Soviets boycott the 1984 Olympic games located in Los Angeles.
U.S. counter-strikes against Libya, in 1986, because of terrorist attacks in West Berlin.
U.S. space shuttle Challenger tragedy (1986)
National debt exceeds $2 trillion under Reagan.
Chernobyl nuclear accident occurs in 1986, causing estimated 8000 'short-term' deaths.
Nintendo is established, and begins production in 1986.
Americans discover that The U.S. is selling weapons to Iran to support the war efforts, and using the profits to fund Contra forces in Nicaragua.
In 1987, Gorbachev and Reagan sign treaty to reduce nuclear weapons.
Iran-Iraq war ends after 8 years of turmoil in 1988.
The Satanic Verses, by Salman Rushdie, is published causing the Ayatollah to put a death warrant on Rushdie in 1988.
Soviets leave Afghanistan after 9 years of conflict in 1989.
In the same year, the Soviet Union begins to crumble, spurring many new nations.
Exxon Valdez dumps 10 million gallons of oil into the Northern Pacific.
Hubble Space Telescope is sent into space in 1990.
Iraq overpowers Kuwait in 1990, which causes the U.S. to intervene causing Operation Desert Shield.
Berlin wall falls, uniting East and West Germany in 1990.
January 17, 1991 U.S. and allies bomb Iraq and Kuwait. Operation Desert Storm follows shortly.
U.S. and Soviet Union reduce long-range nuclear by 30% by 1999.
1992, Internet is developed
In 1993, first major terrorist attack on U.S. soil when W.T.C. is bombed in N.Y.C., 6 killed and 1000+ injured.
First cloning of 'nonviable' human embryos takes place in 1993.
O.J. Simpson is arrested five days after the murder of his wife and Ron Goldman in 1994
Man kills two people in abortion clinic shooting in 1994.
1995, Oklahoma City bombing
NASA spacecraft meets with MIR in 1995.
Ted Kaczynski is arrested for mail terrorism in 1996.
In 1997, NASA successfully lands a spacecraft on Mars.
Scientists clone the first living mammal in 1997.
First terrorist link to Osama Bin Laden in 1998 when two U.S. embassy bombing occur killing 258.
Monica Lewinski! (1998)
1999, NATO fights against Yugoslavia to protect ethnic Albanians.
Columbine High school Shootings take place in 1999.
G.W. Bush is finally elected president after a long grueling election campaign in 2000.
First Major watershed event takes place, Sept. 11, 2001.
General Descriptions of Each Generation:
One of the Boomers main drives is the self. Many of the Boomers are characterized by breaking all ties and responsibilities that don't directly influence themselves. This sense of selfishness caused them to have bad financial stability. Living in the moment, boomers spent their money on a day to day basis and many did not save for the future. Social trends began to worsen during the boomer generation; teen unemployment, death rates, and youth crimes all had a strong rise. Also, a rise in liberal sexuality took place among this generation, however this revolution was greatly caused by the female population. Draft dodging became a well known characteristic of the boomers, uniting many of them during the Vietnam war. Female employment had a strong contribution to the success of the family. Moreover, the success of single women was far greater than any prior generation. "I have made no plans, because I have found no plans worth making", says the Dartmouth Valedictorian of 1971. Boomers have also been known to have a large 'emotional intensity' causing them to be impulsive in nature. However, when becoming older, they are not as prepared for the future because of their day to day lifestyle.
Gen-X is best known for it's persistence to question authority. They have also shown stronger familial bonds, and strong computer savvy. Four in ten Gen-Xers come from a divorced or single-parent household which influenced them to instill stronger family values in their own household. Moreover, the families that Xers do have are more complex, meaning they have more step-siblings and parents. Abortion rates peak during Generation X, along with suicide rates. Generally known as 'Latch-key' kids, meaning they were left alone at home. This forced them to become more self-reliant than baby boomers. Xers were pushed to grow up fast by the silent generation. Gen-X is known for it's cynicism towards the game of life, and there is an abundance of Xers that have been left with a lack of formal education to allow them to have successful jobs. They have grown up with computers, which allows them to easily adapt to new software and trends. This has also inclined them to establish virtual companies and franchises. Also, this generation has created a third influential political party in the U.S., the Green Party. However, college completion rates have fallen from 58% to 37% for the Gen-Xers due to the lack of reinforcement in education by their parents.
Following in the footsteps of Gen-X, the millennial too have become known as 'latch-key' kids. The Millennial have been noted as the fastest maturing generation to this date, growing up with political scandals, sports, and controversies. With the emergence of the internet, this generation has the ability to find the truth more easily than previous generations, and thus have become more cynical of the media and authority figures. Millennial children were on the majority planned births, and grew up with parents that were educated on child care and development. Millennial have grown up with strict laws and rules from their parents to better their upbringing. Trends in the Justice system are beginning to hold parents accountable for criminal acts that their children are committing. Millennial shows signs of growing up with trends, especially those of improving health care, education, family life, and have a rising sense of goals and ambition. The amount of siblings of this generation has reduced from previous generations. The number of abortions has also reduced due to the rise of family and life values.
Our Hypothesis on the values of each generation:
We believe that Baby Boomers value income only in adulthood, rather than in youth. We believe this is because they were given a lot as children, and became self-centered. They were born during a time of war, which gave them a good cause for rebellion and escape from practical matters. Therefore, income was not an issue for them yet. However at the end of the war they found themselves needing to mature and take an active role in their society. Income, thus became important for them to live a typical suburban existence.
Gen-X values income as a means of survival. During their childhood, they were forced to mature very quickly. So, they lost their chance to become idealistic, instead becoming cynical and untrusting of the social structure. Gen-X faced less job opportunities than other generations, however they realized the need for income as a means of survival. Yet, there was no means for them to attain their desired incomes. They are known as becoming an angry generation because of this.
Gen-Y/Millennials are known to value income the most of these generations due to their upbringing. Their childhood has been filled with parents that understand the value of money and the means of attaining it. These values are being passed on to the Millennials.
Boomers are indifferent to the value of education because of the ease of attainability. There were many grants, and scholarships available for them to enter college. Also, many enrolled in college to dodge the draft.
Gen-X resisted conforming to traditional education. They tend to be skeptical of those in power, and thus have little faith in higher education. Many Xers are more individualistic, educating themselves on topics that they personally find interesting.
The Millennials value education most of these generations. This comes from the values instilled upon them by their parents and authority figures. Adults began taking a more active role in the children's lives, influencing their values.
Due to the lifestyle of the boomers, we feel that they did not value family until their adulthood. Boomers were focused on the day to day activities, and thus had little desire to start a family. Many of the Boomers were against political choices, and were hesitant to bring a child into that type of environment. Thus, after the war they began to mature and settle down. At this point, they wanted to raise families, and invested a lot of time and energy into them.
Xers did not value families. Due to hardships of their own youth, they had a negative connotation with families. They were more concerned with surviving within their own communities, rather than establishing a family.
Millennials, we believe, will value families greatly because of their strong parental influence. Their youth has been greatly governed by parents and authority, and thus we believe that they too will invest time into their own families.
Boomers value religion only as a trend. In their youth, Boomers were experimental with religion, showing that religion was valued but uniquely so. The boomers were more focused on emotion and feeling than generations before them. Thus, religion was a way for them to express their emotions.
Gen-X value religion the least of these generations. This is due to their non-conforming nature, and their willingness to be individuals. For Xers, following a group does not appeal to them because it contrasts to the individualistic nature of the generation.
At the beginning of the millennium, Gen-Y values religion more so than previous generations. Due to their parents, the boomers, they exposed their children to religion and showed it's importance.
Comparisons and Contrasts of these Generations
From our data we find that in comparing the income of each generations family at youth to their family income at present that the number of those that feel that they are above average in income has increased. We interpret this as the boomers and millennial value income more than their parents, and have worked to maximize it. Boomers seem to have an increase in value of income over time due to their maturity at a later time in life. However, the Xers grew up with higher income levels, but their personal adulthood income was much lower than that of their youth. This shows that they had a decreased value in income. We believe this is due to their nature of non-conformity. As for the millennial, they cared the most of the three generations. They have grown up with a high level of income, and from our own (possibly biased) data we see that they have an increase in the value of personal income.
Our data shows that boomers and Xers believe that education has gotten better over the years. However, Millennials found that education has had a downward slope, and thus carry less faith in the educational system for the future. The value of education has gone up by each generation. We perceive this data as showing that those willing to volunteer for education, value education. Boomers had the lowest level of volunteerism, showing their low value in education. Xers had more hours of volunteerism, however less than the Millennials. Thus the Millennials show the highest concern for education as well as their high rates of college attendance. We asked the Millennials why they attend college, and found that the attend college solely to gain knowledge, not to gain income later in life. Thus, they value education for the essence of education.
We find that the boomers and Xers want to spend more time with their families than they currently do. This could possibly mean that they put less effort into spending time with their families, and therefore showing they don't value family as much. However Millennials show that they already spend a desired amount of time with their family. This shows that they do value their family. This is proven by a lower number of people wanting to spend more time with their families. We also found that the Millennials grew up in homes with more than one generation present, which is also true for the boomers. However, the Xers had the highest number of those living in a single generation home. We took this to mean the Xers want to live on their own, and value family life less than other generations. When each generation was asked who they would rather sell their bedroom furniture to we interpreted this data to demonstrate whether they value close ties with others, or independence more. The Xers had a greater percentage of people wanting to sell to a complete stranger than those they knew. Whereas, the Boomers and Millennials had a higher percentage of those wanting to sell to those they had personal ties to. This shows that these two generations have a higher concern for familial relations.
A greater percentage of the Millennials found themselves extremely religious than the other generations. The Xers showed to have the lowest number of religious individuals. In looking at volunteerism for religious organizations, we found that the millennial contributed the most, with boomers being second, and Xers contributing the least. Thus, Gen-X has the least level of religiosity, and the millennials had the highest due to the parental instilment of faith.
Note: All relevant data can be seen by following this link: DATA
Note: The Value survey for Generation Y/Millennials (Questions taken from NORC GSS) was preformed by us because of the lack of data from the NORC GSS. The NORC GSS conducts it's surveys to random non-institutionalized people in the U.S. above the age of 18. Thus, we conducted our own survey of the questions from the NORC GSS. We acknowledge the lack of randomness in our attempts to conduct the survey, and that this could lead to biased data. However, we feel that the questions asked serve our purpose of comparing and contrasting these generations well. Please feel free to conduct the survey for yourself and see if you match the data for you're generation.
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