Characteristics and Attributes of Generation X

I write this being fully aware of the implications of lumping an entire generation into board generalizations.  My intent is to simply portray a general understanding of what defines generation X.

That said, Generation X has been classified as ‘latchkey’ children.  This means that the generation was the first group to have both parents working, leading to an increase in the number of children either placed in day care or simply left to be at home by themselves.  The primary consequence of being a latchkey kid is that many of the children became self sufficient, learning to do things on their own instead of having parental interference in the day to day actions of being a child.  This self reliance led to a common ability to be entrepreneurial later in life.  Many of the most successful Americans to date were part of this generation, such as Jerry Seinfeld, Mark Cuban, and Bill Gates.

On top of this Generation X has a tendency to distrust institutions and authority due to witnessing the massive layoffs of the 1980s.  This led to a lack of dedication to one particular job or institution.  Through this Generation X has tended towards advancing through a career, not by working at the same company for many years attempting to get promoted, but rather by always looking for a better opportunity that might  be outside of the current institution.

This group also pays a lot of attention to their children due mostly to the the fact that as children they were left to fend for themselves and the fact that divorce rates increased dramatically during the time of their childhood leading to an increase in the number of single parent homes ultimately causing a distrust of the institution of parenthood.  This group attempts to fix the problems they saw with their own parents, by being more involved in the lives of their children.

Gary Hitchins

http://blogs.hbr.org/erickson/2009/07/why_generation_x_has_the_leade.html

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/brainiac/2008/01/generation_x.html

http://www.edutopia.org/generation-x-parents-relationships-guide

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~ by garyhitchins on February 21, 2010.

 
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