Generational Labels & Insults
While I abhor the “generation wars” narrative that pops up regularly, the article below is about a novel – Boomer1 by Daniel Torday – that captures this generation wars zeitgeist, and tells the story of a frustrated millenial who takes his fight to the internet, complaining about boomers who refuse to retire and make jobs available to those of his generation.
The article makes some great points about this ongoing debate, and postulates as to what is at the core of this generational divide. It also examines the political shifts that may be emerging as Gen Xers and Millenials mature and start to vote (although the Boomers are still hanging around).
One one hand, generational politics seem to be just another manifestation of identity politics. But Gabriel Winant argues against this, suggesting that generation is not an identity – “it’s a relationship: no children without parents, and no millennials without boomers”. I think this is deeply insightful as it opens a new way to look at the collective familial relationship, and view generations as something that can bring us together rather than divide us.
Consider This: In your family, are generational labels used often as stereotypical pseudo-insults? Have you ever considered the extent to which generational attitudes of children came “from” parents?
Here is more on reading on family conflict resolution.