Generation X - Netflix
National Geographic Channel recognizes the 65 million people born between 1961 and 1981, flipping the long-held stereotype of a generation of disenfranchised slackers. Narrated by Christian Slater, six hour-long episodes examine how the experiences of post-baby boom youth inspired some of the greatest achievements the world has ever seen, from the historic presidential election of 2008 to the legalization of gay marriage. Lending commentary and personal stories are a host of authors, journalists, politicians and celebrities, among them Kevin Smith, Courtney Love, Sara Palin, Molly Ringwald, Gavin Newsom, Julian Assange, Rachel Dratch, and Tabitha Soren.
How did the generation between Baby Boomers and Millennials become characterized as slackers? Even cynics can change the world. This six-part series re-examines the era on a quest to redefine the so-called Slacker Generation.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Generation X - Generation - Netflix
A generation is “all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively.” It can also be described as, “the average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children of their own.” In kinship terminology, it is a structural term designating the parent-child relationship. It is also known as biogenesis, reproduction, or procreation in the biological sciences. “Generation” is also often used synonymously with cohort in social science; under this formulation it means “people within a delineated population who experience the same significant events within a given period of time”. Generations in this sense of birth cohort, also known as “social generations”, are widely used in popular culture, and have been the basis for sociological analysis. Serious analysis of generations began in the nineteenth century, emerging from an increasing awareness of the possibility of permanent social change and the idea of youthful rebellion against the established social order. Some analysts believe that a generation is one of the fundamental social categories in a society, while others view its importance as being overshadowed by other factors including class, gender, race, education, among others.
Generation X - Generational theory - Netflix
While the concept of a generation has a long history and can be found in ancient literature, there are also psychological and sociological dimensions in the sense of belonging and identity which may define a generation. The concept of a generation can also be used to locate particular birth cohorts in specific historical and cultural circumstances, such as the “Baby boomers”. While all generations have similarities, there are differences among them as well. A 2007 Pew Research Center report called “Millennials: Confident. Connected. Open to Change” noted the challenge of studying generations: “Generational analysis has a long and distinguished place in social science, and we cast our lot with those scholars who believe it is not only possible, but often highly illuminating, to search for the unique and distinctive characteristics of any given age group of Americans. But we also know this is not an exact science. We are mindful that there are as many differences in attitudes, values, behaviors, and lifestyles within a generation as there are between generations. But we believe this reality does not diminish the value of generational analysis; it merely adds to its richness and complexity.” Another element of generational theory is recognizing how youth experience their generation, and how that changes based on where they reside in the world. “Analyzing young people's experiences in place contributes to a deeper understanding of the processes of individualization, inequality, and of generation.” Being able to take a closer looks at youth cultures and subcultures in different times and places adds an extra element to understanding the everyday lives of youth. This allows a better understanding of youth and the way generation and place play in their development. It is not where the birth cohort boundaries are drawn that is important, but how individuals and societies interpret the boundaries and how divisions may shape processes and outcomes. However, the practice of categorizing age cohorts is useful to researchers for the purpose of constructing boundaries in their work.
Generation X - References - Netflix