Baby Boomers Shaping a Generation
Uploaded by bulldawg on Oct 27, 2011
This essay discusses whether events or the media shaped the Baby Boom generation.
What shapes the outlook of an entire generation? Is it even possible to say with certainty that everyone in one specific group is influenced by the same thing as everyone else in that group? Probably not. However, we’ll look for commonalities that help us answer the question, Were the Boomers influenced more by events in their lives, or by the mass media?
II The Baby Boomers
I’ve chosen the Baby Boomers (hereafter BBs) because, frankly, I’m one of them. (I won’t tell you which end of the age range I’m in, though!) BBs are generally thought to be those people born at the end of the Second World War, up to about 1960-1965; most sources give the Baby Boom years as 1946-1964. These people are too young to remember the war, though they were born during the conflict, or just as it ended. They grew up in the 1950’s and 1960’s, years generally thought to be peaceful and prosperous. They are also generally viewed as egocentrics who demand the spotlight at all times, who refuse to age gracefully, and who need individual recognition of their efforts. (“Motivation Differs Between Generations,” PG).
This generation, in general, is doing very well, though they have paid for their success by working long hours and sacrificing family and friends. These values are not embraced by Generation X or Y, who want to enjoy their lives and are less committed to the “nose to the grindstone” work ethic. (“Motivation Differs Between Generations,” PG). The BBs learned this viewpoint from their parents, who came through the Depression and fought in WWII. I think we must take into account the fact that the people who most strongly influence a child are his/her parents. We all start out by accepting what our parents tell us, and why not? They are the foremost authority figures in our world, and we expect them to tell the truth. Until we get into school and meet people from other backgrounds, we usually repeat what our elders say.
But the BBs were also growing up in times that were vastly different from those in which their parents matured:
“Their formative years were shaped by tremendous economic expansion after World War II, the popularity of rock-n-roll music, the...