Stephen M.10/30/96Professor ShockleyGeneration X’ers have been described as “fanatically independentindividuals pathologically ambivalent about the future, and brimming withunsatisfied longings for permanence, for love, and for material possessions.”(Lauren, p.64) This less-than-flattering description of our generation hassince been expanded by the media to the point that myself and my peers aredescribed as a bunch of apathetic slackers unconcerned with family values,godless cynics resentful of the preceding generations.Since Douglas Coupland’s Book Generation X came out in 1991, many thingshave been said about the twentysomethings.Labeled by Coupland and the mediaas Generation X. Although the name has stuck, Coupland’s book is virtuallyimpossible to find.
Why is that? Could it be because Generation X describes us,me, everyone who was born between the years of 1963-1983 as “white andprivileged and living in a suburb near you” (Giles, p4). In addition,Advertising Age referred to Generation X’ers as “That cynical, purple-hairedblob watching TV.” (Giles, p2)What makes our generation so special, is that we have proven them allwrong. Generation X consists of those between the ages 13 and 33 years of age.We as a group have become the productive, interested, and hardworkingindividuals that we are today.
We have grown to realize that the future’sundiscovered country is awaiting our arrival, and is there for the taking.It isn’t at all ironic that during our short lives the world has seen somany changes. Through the work of our generation and the reactions of the BabyBoomers generation, we have helped turn this world into a new age of wisdom; acut-the-crap, truth seeking generation, both richer and poorer because of it.Do not feel threatened, however, our future, our generations future, and thefuture of the human race, is in the hands of the most informed generation todate. Growing up in an ever shrinking world.
X’ers mostly share an impatiencewith racism, greed, and ignorance (Lauren, p. 70). The common use of thecomputer opened the ever expanding horizons to the highways of the worldthroughout cyberspace.
Fact be known Gen X is neither white, nor rich, nor do they all live ina suburb near you. 70 percent of X’ers are white, while 13 percent are black,12 percent Hispanic, 4 percent Asian, and 1 percent are Native American (Giles,p4). In addition, according to a recent survey conducted by the sociologydepartment at the University of Maryland, Generation X’ers can now be classifiedby the term Neat’ (Carnoy, p.
80) Dr. John P. Robinson recently supervised atelephone survey and concluded that 57 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds said thathaving a neat and clean house was “very important” to them (Carnoy, p. 80).
When compared to the Baby boomers, only 48 percent of the 30- to 49-year-oldsfelt the same way (Carnoy, p.80)Examples proving that Generation X is not a bunch of slackers’ areprevalent all through our society today. Swing, Might, Paper, Curio, and myriadother magazines are all published by X’ers, for X’ers. T.A.
G. formally knownas The Alternative Group’ is after representation. ” For too long our needs(Generation X) have gone ignored in our local, state, and national governments.In truth, we hope to be a grassroots lobbying force for our age group.
” (TAG,Objectives) Adam Werbach (23) is breathing new life into the Sierra club,America’s oldest, largest, and most middle aged environmental group. Thousandsof X’ers are popping up all over the place, taking the reins of society andquietly changing America.”Young People are less commited to their jobs now. My father startedworking for AT&T as soon as he graduated from college and he just retired lastyear, at 55, I don’t know anyone my age who is likely to have the samesituation. These days, three or four years is the longest anyone stays at onecompany. People want more out of life than just a job.
They want to be doingsomething they love, and they want to move up fast. It’s no longer a sign ofweakness to leave a job after a short stint. Now, it shows that you’reambitious.
” (Schiman, Swing)”The Boring Twenties: Grow Up, Crybabies. You’re America’s LuckiestGeneration.” Headlined the Washington Times (Giles,p2) Unfortunately, but wearen’t America’s luckiest children. More than two-thirds of today’s college anduniversity students receive some sort of financial assistance during theiracademic career (T.A.G.
, Aid). It is no wonder then, that when the Congressbegun talk of “cutting” financial aid, many campuses across the country madetheir voice heard loud and clear. On top of that, many graduates entering thework force did so during the recession of 1990-1991. “Today the average full-time salary for a male between twenty-five and thirty-four is $26,197; theaverage for a female is $21,510 (Giles, p.4) For Generation X’ers to grow up inhomes where the divorce rate even hit 50% (Leveridge, p15) the could beconsidered Americas unluckiest children. The recent resurgence of retiredpeople moving closer to college campuses is astounding. The number of Gen X’ersthat want inter action with the retirement community is unparalleled (Harris, p.
57).After all this is said and done, Generation X has far surpassed provingtheir worth to the baby-boomers. Could the Baby-boomers nostalgia of the goodol days’ be the determining factor in the constant barrage of our generation.One day they will figure us out, but by then it will be too late. It is thedrive, determination, and inspiration that our generation has, that will allowevery single one of us conquer, and never be conquered.
It is also this whichbrings us together, and defines us a generation, Generation X.Works citedAtwan, Robert, ed. Our Times. 4th Edition Boston: Bedford 1995Carnoy, David.
“Into the Great Divide.” Swing: September 1996: 80-81Forrest, Bret. “Douglas Coupland: Thoughts and Reality” Swing: July/Aug 1996: 75Giles, Jeff. “Generalizations X.” Our Times. Ed.
Robert Atwan. 4th edition.Boston: Bedford, 1995Goldman, Debra. “Generalizations X.” Our Times. Ed.
Robert Atwan. 4th edition.Boston: Bedford, 1995Harris, Lou. “Family Values.” Swing: September 1996: 81Lauren, David.
“Who We Are.” Swing: April 1996: 62-72Leveridge, Brett. “Men My Mother Dated” Might: Nov/Dec1996:16Liu, Eric. “Generalizations X.” Our Times. Ed.
Robert Atwan. 4th edition.Boston: Bedford, 1995Schiman, Ben. “Work Life.” Swing: September 1996: 80T.A.G., “Electoral Objectives” Http://www.mindspring.com/^tag/electorial_objectives.html: 1-2T.A.G., “Securing the Future of Student Financial Aid”Http://www.mindspring.com/^tag/electorial_objectives.html: 1Category: English