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View Diary: Breaking!!! Zogby cell poll has Kerry over Bush 15 points!!! (115 comments)

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  •  Gen Y aka Millennials (none)
    The most thoughtful and extensive analysis of generational issues I've seen is by Strauss and Howe, who wrote Generations in the early '90's and helped bring "Gen X" into the public awareness.

    Their book The Fourth Turning sets out a very convincing model of generation-driven cultural change, based on research going back to the fifteenth century.

    While the start and stop dates for a given generation are somewhat arbitrary within a range of two or three years, they point out that the average duration of a generation is 21.5 years. The way they break it down:

    1901-1924 - G.I. Generation (aka "Greatest")
    1925-1942 - Silent Generation
    1943-1960 - Boomers
    1961-1981 - 13th Generation (aka "Gen X")
    1982-now  - Millennials (aka "Gen Y")

    Their model describes a four-generation cycle during which the culture moves from a High period, to an Awakening, to an Unraveling, to a Crisis, then starting the cycle again with a High. The Silents came of age during a High, the Boomers during an Awakening, etc.

    According to this, then, the Millennials will be dealing with the Crisis phase (just like the G.I.'s), and so perhaps will be the next "greatest generation."

    Looks like you've got a world to fix, kiddos. Get out there and do us proud!

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