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Generations Throughout History

Created in 2017 by BuzzFeed, this 10-minute video traces all seven living American generations and the formative social and cultural forces that have shaped their experiences. The generations covered include the Greatest Generation or G.I. Generation (born 1901-1927), the Silent Generation or The Lucky Few (born 1928-1945), the Baby Boomers or Rock & Roll Generation (born 1946-1964), Generation X (born 1965-1980), Millennials or Gen Y (born 1981-1997), Gen Z (born 1998-2010), and Generation Alpha (2011-present).

discussion

How does this video define “generation” at the beginning of the clip? Do you agree that people born within a certain time period have distinct experiences because of their age and therefore unique worldviews? Why or why not?

What kinds of experiences are the same across generations? What are common criticisms that each older generation has of the younger generations that come after them?

Who creates and defines generational categories? If you do not identify with the characteristics of the generational category assigned to your age, can you opt out of the generational label? Why or why not?

How do stereotypes and assumptions about our age affect how we are treated? How do these categories affect what we imagine is possible for ourselves?