Definition: Generation X is the label given to people who were born after the so-called “baby boomers” but before the “millennials”, between the 1960s and the 1970s. Because of features that seemed common to this group of people, Generation X is supposed to be unique in terms of attitudes and preferences.
What Does Generation X Mean?
The letter X commonly refers to something unclassified or unknown. The term can also be seen as Gen X and it was widely used following Douglas Copeland’s book “Generation X: tales for an accelerated culture” published in 1991. The word is mostly used in mass media and sociological contexts, mainly to differentiate a group of people that seems to show particular attitudes because of the elements of the world that existed around them when they grew up. In general, the label was not assigned as a compliment. This population group differs strongly from its ancestors due to higher exposure to technology and mass media.
They were educated with computers and saw the rise of the Internet. The millennials, instead, grew with social media and sophisticated technological devices in their hands. Generation X has higher education and higher rate of working women than their parents. This population cohort is sometimes called the lost generation since they are attributed to be directionless and cynic, largely due to childhood that suffered an increased rate of divorced parents and influences of shifting society values.
They are seen as apathetic in general. This generation decided to marry older than their parents and went more cautious in relation to commitments. In this context, they have been hard workers and notable entrepreneurs.
Certainly, the term mostly applies to U.S. people with their distinctive culture, environment and socio-economic structures. Nevertheless, Generation X’s most relevant characteristics are also used to name individuals from Canada, Australia, England and other developed European countries.