Oh, my! Two new generations have been added into the mix
By Michelle Post
Before exploring the two new generations, let’s recap the last seven months of generational research. A generation is defined as, “all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively.” And a generation can also be defined as, “people within a delineated population who experience the same significant events within a given period of time.” An individual is given a generational label; however, that label does not define an individual. Lindsey Pollak, a millennial workplace expert, stated, “Birth year isn’t the only thing that defines you, but elements of a generation bind us together.”
Anthropologist Morris Massey defines individuals by his or her value system (culture, age, gender roles, ethnicity) and nine external factors: 1. Family, 2. Friends, 3. Religion, 4. Technology, 5. School, 6. Media-advertising, 7. Music, 8. Income, and 9. Geography. An individual can be altered by a significant emotional event, and such an event could be small (profound book, music, movie), a personal event (death, marriage, achievement) and or a global event (war, acts of terrorism, catastrophic weather). It is essential to study and understand generations for it gives a starting point to understanding one another.
The current list of living generations:
Greatest Generation (GI Generation) born from 1901 to 1924
Silent Generation, born between 1925 to 1945
Baby Boomers, born between 1946 to 1964
Generation X, born between 1965 to 1980
Generation Y (millennials); born between 1981 to 1997
Generation Z (homelanders), born between 1998 to 2010
Announcing the two new generations:
Xennials, a micro-generation born between 1977 and 1984. This generation is a community of individuals who do not believe they fit into Generation X or millennials, but who have one foot in each generation. According to Sheknows.com, individuals born in the late 1970s and early 1980s share traits with both Generation X and millennials.
This new generation has also been called the Oregon Trail Generation, the Lucky Ones, and Generation Catalano, but the name sticking is Xennials. This generation grew up with analog technology but soon embraced digital technology. What are Xennials’ characteristics regarding (1) Core values, (2) Family, (3) Money, (4) Technology, and (5) Work? Refer to previous articles on Generation X and millennials for the specifics in the five characteristics.
The youngest generation is Generation Alpha, born 2011 to present. According to generation researcher Marc McGrindle, “2.5 million Alphas are born around the globe every week.” Other names for Generation Alpha are Gen Tech, Digital Natives, and Next Gen, but the unofficial name is Generation Alpha or Gen Alpha. This generation will be the most tech-savvy generation and will not know a world without technology. What are Generation Alpha’s characteristics regarding (1) Core values, (2) Family, (3) Money, (4) Technology, and (5) Work? We don’t know yet. The oldest of this group just started kindergarten.