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X, Y, Z

[originally published 14th December 2015]

As I told you in the first post of Culture Vulture subject, I started this topic coursing Modern Art Ideas. But last week I decided to start the learning of this subject as I planned in the begging: Reviewing the content of Contemporary Culture’s subject that I studied at university.

I loved this subject because it was a trip over all of ways of thinking and philosophies which were shaped and defined (by and with) the culture during the Contemporary history. So while I was studing it, I could understood how the way of thinking influenced in the environment in each decade and vice versa. And how my way of thinking and feeling is influenced by different cultures of the last ages.

So today, we are going to start talking about the Generation X, Y and Z. And in the next posts we will start knowing about the Contemporary Culture from the beginning.

generation X

Generation X, commonly abbreviated to Gen X, is the generation born after the Western Post–World War II baby boom. Even there isn’t an universal age range with the exactly date; Gen X is usually used to call the group of people born between the early 1960s to the early 1980s.

The term Generation X was coined by the Magnum photographer Robert Capa in the early 1950s. He used it later as a title for a photo-essay about young men and women growing up immediately after the Second World War. The project first appeared in Picture Post (UK) and Holiday (US) in 1953. Describing his intention, Capa said “We named this unknown generation, The Generation X, and even in our first enthusiasm we realised that we had something far bigger than our talents and pockets could cope with.”

The name was popularized by Canadian author Douglas Coupland’s 1991 novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, concerning young adults during the late 1980s and their lifestyles.

By consequence of the characteristics of it, Gen X has been also called “The lost generation”, “The apathy generation”, “Peter Pan generation” or “Generación H”. (As I said that not in all the countries the characteristics were developed as the same time in some countries “Peter Pan generation” is also used to call the next generation: the Millennials).

The members of this generation grew up in a very different world than previous generations. Divorce and working moms created “latchkey” kids out of many in this generation. This led to traits of independence, resilience and adaptability. Generation X feels strongly that “I don’t need someone looking over my shoulder.”

Compared with previous generations, Generation X represents a more heterogeneous generation, embracing social diversity in terms of such characteristics as race, class, religion, ethnicity, culture, language, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Unlike their parents who challenged leaders with an intent to replace them, Gen Xers are less likely to idolize leaders and are more inclined to work toward long-term institutional and systematic change through economic, media and consumer actions.

Generation X saw their parents get laid off or face job insecurity. Many of them also entered the workplace in the early ’80s, when the economy was in a downturn. Because of these factors, they’ve redefined loyalty. Instead of remaining loyal to their company, they have a commitment to their work, to the team they work with, and the boss they work for. For example, a Baby Boomer complains about his dissatisfaction with management, but figures its part of the job. A Gen Xer doesn’t waste time complaining-she sends her resume out and accepts the best offer she can find at another organization.

At the same time, Generation X takes employability seriously. But for this generation there isn’t a career ladder. There’s a career lattice. They can move laterally, stop and start, their career is more fluid.

Gen X:

  • accept diversity

  • pragmatic/practical

  • Self-reliant/individualistic

  • Reject rules

  • Use technology

  • Multitask

  • PC

  • Multitask

  • Friend-not family

generation Y

Generation Y or Millennials is the generation after Gen X. As happen with the previous generation, there are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends; most researchers and commentators use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s.

Perhaps it’s because of the showers of attention and high expectations from parents that they display a great deal of self-confidence to the point of appearing cocky. Technology play important role in their lives.

Millennials are typically team-oriented, banding together to date and socialize rather than pairing off. They work well in groups, preferring this to individual endeavors. They’re good multitaskers, having juggled sports, school, and social interests as children so expect them to work hard. Millennials seem to expect structure in the workplace. They acknowledge and respect positions and titles, and want a relationship with their boss. This doesn’t always mesh with Generation X’s love of independence and hands-off style.


  • Celebrate diversity

  • Optimistic/realistic

  • Self-inventive/individualistic

  • Rewrite the rules

  • Internet

  • Assume technology

  • Multitask fast

  • Friends = family

Months ago I read this article that I recommen you if you’re a Millenial or if you want to know more about their behaviour: Why Generation Y are unhappy.

There are a lot of information about this topic at internet and many books which talk about Millenials. If you are interested on it, just have a look, you just can start reading what Wikipedia says.

generation Z

(also iGen or Post-Millennials) are the cohort of people born after the Millennials. There is some disagreement on the name and exact range of birth dates. Some sources start this generation at the mid or late 1990s with various ending dates and others start it in the mid 2000s with birth dates ending around 2025.

It is the first generation to have been born after the invention of the Internet. With the web revolution that occurred in throughout the 1990s, members of Generation Z have been exposed to an unprecedented amount of technology in their upbringing. Technology has strongly influenced Generation Z in terms of communication and education.

About three-quarters of 13–17 years olds use their cellphones daily, more than they watch TV.

While researchers and parents agree the change in educational paradigm is significant, the results of the changes are mixed. On one hand, smartphones offer the potential for deeper involvement in learning and more individualized instruction; thereby making this generation potentially better educated and more well-rounded. On the other hand, researchers and parents also fear the prevalence of smart phones will cause technology dependence and a lack of self-regulation that will hinder child development.

For Generation Z, owning a cell phone has shifted from a luxury to a perceived necessity. With each passing year, children are receiving their own technology earlier than ever before and are becoming increasingly reliant on it. As children become teenagers, receiving a phone becomes just another rite of passage that allows them to be further connected with their peers and it is now a social norm to have one at an early age.

They use the internet as a way to gain access to information and to interact with others. As a tool to gain social skills, that they then apply to real life situations, and learn about things that interest them. Gen Z uses social media and other sites to strengthen bonds with friends and to develop new ones. They interact with people who they otherwise would not have met in the real world, becoming a tool for identity creation.Social media is known to be a vehicle to express how members of Generation Z go about their daily lives and also express their beliefs.

As a generation that was either born or raised in the height of the Great Recession, members of Generation Z have witnessed or experienced first-hand the stress and fear of unemployment; as a result, members of Generation Z seek contentment and passion in their careers rather than a lucrative salary. As Jeffrey Arnett writes, emerging adults “expect to find a job that will be an expression of their identity.”. They will more often than not try out a series of different jobs or internships in their endeavor to find something they care about, rather than settling for a stable career that is unfulfilling.

According to a Northeastern University Survey, 81% of Generation Z believes obtaining a college degree is necessary in achieving career goals. As Generation Z enters high school, they start preparing for college. Generation Z works hard in high school to get good grades, in order to get into colleges and earn scholarships. Generation Z is not concerned about getting a job after college like the Millennials are because Generation Z will be entering the workforce over a decade after the Great Recession happened, so it is more likely that the job availability will be greater than it was for the Millennials.

Generation Z takes in information instantaneously, and loses interest just as fast. If Millennials grown with Facebook, Youtube and Whatsapp, Gen X do it with Snapchat, Vine and Tumblr.

While the millennial generation infamously pioneered the Facebook beer-bong selfie, many in Generation Z have embraced later, anonymous social media platforms like Whisper, as well as Snapchat, where any incriminating images disappear almost instantly.

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