Lively and in-depth discussions of city news, politics, science, entertainment, the arts, and more.
Hosted by Larry Mantle
Airs Weekdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

How boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials see each other




A young single mother and her child living on a housing estate in Middlesbrough, circa 1984. What influences the way younger generations think of older generations?
A young single mother and her child living on a housing estate in Middlesbrough, circa 1984. What influences the way younger generations think of older generations?
Steve Eason/Getty Images

Listen to story

16:07
Download this story 7MB

Every generation has its own distinct personality, shaped by socioeconomic and other factors.

The Great Depression was a commonality for much of the Greatest Generation, and the experiences of deprivation had given rise to a strong sense of resilience and frugality. Those in the Baby Boomers generation came of age during the civil rights movement, and an anti-establishment ethos infused that segment’s personality. And Gen Xers, like the protagonists in Douglas Coupland’s novel, “Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture,” that gave it its name, are seen as cynical, self-reliant, cooler-than-school. That defining skepticism gave way to a kind of self-absorption in millennials, who grew up with social media and a culture of proud self-promotion. But technology has also contributed to their sense of optimism about the future, and sense of possibility.

How do these different generations see each other? What tension exists between these generations?

Guest:

Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and a noted researcher on the millennial generation. Her books include “Generation Me: Why Today's Young Americans Are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled--and More Miserable Than Ever Before” (Free Press, 2006)