Should we stop sticking labels on generations?

Targeted baby boomers, Generation X sloths, narcissistic Millennials, Zer hypersensitive generations … to name and characterize generations is a relatively new phenomenon. It started in the late 1800s, but since then scientists, marketers and the public seem to love to come up with names and character traits for large groups of people born between certain years. But should we think that these groups of people share common features because of the historical or social forces they have experienced? At this hour, should we reset the labels of generations? And how do history and culture shape our identity and our characteristics? Our guests PHILIP COHENProfessor of Sociology, University of Maryland and JEAN TWENGEpsychologist and author of the book, iGen.


Philip Cohen, Professor of Sociology and Demographer at the University of Maryland. He is the author of the textbook, Family: diversity, inequality and social change. @familyunequal

Jean TwengeProfessor of Psychology at the University of San Diego and author iGen: Why modern superconnected children are growing up less rebellious, more tolerant, less happy – and not at all prepared for adulthood – and what that means for the rest of us. @jean_twenge

Recommended reading

The Washington Post, Opinion: Generation labels mean nothing. It’s time for them to retire.

The New Yorker, It’s time to stop talking about “generations”

San Diego Union-Tribune, Opinion: Why Generation Z – or iGen – is experiencing significantly higher levels of mental health problems

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