Generational Differences: Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Generation Y Comparison

Generations grow up with different beliefs and perspectives.  The conditions of the economy, the state of the world, technology, and social trends all impact the overall behavior of the generation.  For Generation Y, it is a return to traditional values, a strong sense of community and diversity, and an emphasis on technology, information, and education.

Let’s take a look at a comparison between the Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1976/1981), and Generation Y (1977/1982-1995/2001).  Please keep in mind these are generalized observations taken from a different article (see below):

Level of trust toward authority

  • Boomers are confident of self, not authority.
  • Gen Xers have a low level of trust toward authority.
  • Millennials have a high level of trust toward authority. Yet they are less trustworthy of individual people. Perhaps it’s from being born into an age of terrorism or maybe it’s their overprotective parents or the danger-obsessed media.

What do they view as the ultimate reward?

  • Boomers want a prestigious title and the corner office.
  • Gen Xers want the freedom not to have to do something.
  • Millennials prefer meaningful work.

How were their parents with them?

  • Boomers had parents who were controlling.
  • Gen Xers parents were distant.
  • Millennials? Their parents were intruding. Or, as my Millennial-age intern tells me, they have “helicopter parents”—they’re always hovering.

What are their views toward having children?

  • Boomers are controlled, their children were planned.
  • Gen Xer’s are doubtful about the possibility of becoming parents.
  • Millennials are definite about parenthood. In fact, they view marriage and parenthood as more important than careers and success.

And overall family life?

  • Boomers were indulged as children.
  • Gen Xers were alienated as children.
  • Millennials were protected as children.

Views toward education?

  • Boomers want freedom of expression.
  • Gen Xers are pragmatic.
  • Millennials need the structure of accountability.

Political orientation

  • Thankfully, boomers want to attack oppression. Without those views we might not have had civil rights or protested Vietnam.
  • Gen Xers are apathetic and more worried about the individual.
  • And the Millennials, the facebookers and Tweeters? It should be no surprise that they crave community.

Last but not least, the views on the big question...

  • Boomers want to know, “What does it mean?”
  • Gen Xers need to know, “Does it work?”
  • Millennials are curious to know, “How do we build it?”

Please read the full post here.

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