Why do you think baby boomers are labeled the "me" generation?

Paco Dennis

Well-known Member
Location
Mid-Missouri
I can't understand why. Everyone I have ever met is nourishing themselves first and foremost. So what have we done that makes us stand out as being self centered?
 

Pepper

Well-known Member
Location
NYC
We're the first generation where KIDS got to be kids, not mini adults, and family life was centered around US and OUR needs & wants, and what our parents thought we should have. We are the first generation in the history of the planet to be real children, or as some might say, spoiled brats. YAY!

See Centuries of Childhood by Philippe Ariès.
 

JimBob1952

Senior Member
We were the first generation (broadly speaking) to take mind-altering drugs, explore alternative ways of thinking (ranging from Zen to EST to TM to what have you) and to reject authority. Some of it was societal but some was focused on the self, hence the term. Which I think was coined by the novelist Tom Wolfe, but I might be wrong.
 

JimBob1952

Senior Member
A quick check shows Wolfe called the 70s the "Me Decade". I forgot to mention the focus on exercise, diet, self-actualization and so many other characteristics of the Me Generation. Boomers born in 1946 to 1949 missed a lot of it, as the whole thing really got going with the arrival of the Beatles. So if you were 12 to 14 in 1964 you were a prime candidate for the Me Generation.
 

Pepper

Well-known Member
Location
NYC
Yes, @JimBob1952 although very true, our inclinations began in early childhood. We were the first generation to be considered first, from birth. Socially and generally speaking, of course.
 

JimBob1952

Senior Member
Yes, @JimBob1952 although very true, our inclinations began in early childhood. We were the first generation to be considered first, from birth. Socially and generally speaking, of course.

Yes, our postwar parents looked at us as something to enjoy and cherish, especially given the prosperity of the 50s and early 60s. I think another element was that things opened up a lot for young women in the postwar era.
 

Paco Dennis

Well-known Member
Location
Mid-Missouri
Most of us also inherited a very healthy economy or we had a pretty solid middle class. The dollar went a long way back then. Spoiled is a good word for us. Maybe we feel a certain innate "we deserve what we want" privilege.? Entitled?
 

feywon

Senior Member
A quick check shows Wolfe called the 70s the "Me Decade". I forgot to mention the focus on exercise, diet, self-actualization and so many other characteristics of the Me Generation. Boomers born in 1946 to 1949 missed a lot of it, as the whole thing really got going with the arrival of the Beatles. So if you were 12 to 14 in 1964 you were a prime candidate for the Me Generation.

What's in bold is quite true i think. Tho some of us just approached things differently. I was born in 1946, to what would later be termed 'working poor' family. My Dad actually instilled the ideals regarding environmental concerns and social injustice in me, but my parents also instilled a strong work ethic snd sense of responsibility for myself.

So i was a VISTA first year of its existence (3rd training group), did behind the scenes work for various movements during my 'off' hours. Winter of '65-'66 I practically lived on beef broth and rice to save up so i could go participate in voter registration, etc summer of '66. In '68 my best friend got us a ride to Woodstock (we were living in NYC) but i declined because wasn't arranged until that Thursday night and i wasn't about to bail on my job that way.

I got criticism from all sides-- the straight arrow 'fulfill your role in society and don't question anything' folks and the full on 'counter culture' folks because i lived according to my own values and those were (still are) a mixed bag that didn't meet anybody's expectations.

My younger brother was a late Baby Boomer born 1/1/63. Different and mostly absent/distant father--but between Mom and me he acquired a strong sense of responsibility for self & to family and good work ethic.


'.
 
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Pepper

Well-known Member
Location
NYC
Yes, our postwar parents looked at us as something to enjoy and cherish, especially given the prosperity of the 50s and early 60s. I think another element was that things opened up a lot for young women in the postwar era.
Not just postwar, but post Depression too. The Depression seemed to have the biggest impact on my parents' psyches. They grew up with nothing except gumption.
 

Paco Dennis

Well-known Member
Location
Mid-Missouri
The 70's is when the nuclear family and small family farms started disintegrating. Women began to leave their "house wife" roles and become independent and men wouldn't lift a hand in domestic chores. Divorce became more normal which futher breaks down a nuclear family. Maybe we are individualized more because society became so spread out.
 

Paco Dennis

Well-known Member
Location
Mid-Missouri
Here is a book with a direct hit at us poor boomers.

"A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America

In his "remarkable" (Men's Journal) and "controversial" (Fortune) book -- written in a "wry, amusing style" (The Guardian) -- Bruce Cannon Gibney shows how America was hijacked by the Boomers, a generation whose reckless self-indulgence degraded the foundations of American prosperity.

In A Generation of Sociopaths, Gibney examines the disastrous policies of the most powerful generation in modern history, showing how the Boomers ruthlessly enriched themselves at the expense of future generations.

Acting without empathy, prudence, or respect for facts--acting, in other words, as sociopaths--the Boomers turned American dynamism into stagnation, inequality, and bipartisan fiasco. The Boomers have set a time bomb for the 2030s, when damage to Social Security, public finances, and the environment will become catastrophic and possibly irreversible--and when, not coincidentally, Boomers will be dying off.

Gibney argues that younger generations have a fleeting window to hold the Boomers accountable and begin restoring America. "


https://www.amazon.com/Generation-Sociopaths-Boomers-Betrayed-America/dp/0316395781
 

feywon

Senior Member
Our brains habitually classify, categorize and label things for convenience tho at one time a lot of it may have been for survival. But there are so many factors in why any individual behaves as they do it is a mistake think any group one chooses to define is truly fully homogenous and will behave exactly the same way in a given situation.
 

JimBob1952

Senior Member
Here is a book with a direct hit at us poor boomers.

"A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America

In his "remarkable" (Men's Journal) and "controversial" (Fortune) book -- written in a "wry, amusing style" (The Guardian) -- Bruce Cannon Gibney shows how America was hijacked by the Boomers, a generation whose reckless self-indulgence degraded the foundations of American prosperity.

In A Generation of Sociopaths, Gibney examines the disastrous policies of the most powerful generation in modern history, showing how the Boomers ruthlessly enriched themselves at the expense of future generations.

Acting without empathy, prudence, or respect for facts--acting, in other words, as sociopaths--the Boomers turned American dynamism into stagnation, inequality, and bipartisan fiasco. The Boomers have set a time bomb for the 2030s, when damage to Social Security, public finances, and the environment will become catastrophic and possibly irreversible--and when, not coincidentally, Boomers will be dying off.

Gibney argues that younger generations have a fleeting window to hold the Boomers accountable and begin restoring America. "


https://www.amazon.com/Generation-Sociopaths-Boomers-Betrayed-America/dp/0316395781

Well, he's right about the public finances. The debt and the deficit will get us before the environment does. And that is a problem caused by both sides of the aisle: Rs for military spending and unwillingness to tax to pay for it, and Ds for unchecked social spending and unwillingness to demand value for money spent.

Stagnation? No. We still have an incredibly dynamic economy. We innovate like crazy. And while inequality is a problem, it is a problem throughout the entire Western world.
 

Paco Dennis

Well-known Member
Location
Mid-Missouri
Our brains habitually classify, categorize and label things for convenience tho at one time a lot of it may have been for survival. But there are so many factors in why any individual behaves as they do it is a mistake think any group one chooses to define is truly fully homogenous and will behave exactly the same way in a given situation.
For sure. That is the main problem that I perceive. We all are conditioned by nature/nurture in different ways...and society changes. Labeling is a mistake, but we will insistently try to describe our experience, and it is never what we think it is. So why labels? To avoid confusion? I think it amplifies confusion. :)
 

feywon

Senior Member
What nonsense. Sociopaths don't fight for civil rights, equality for women, have an anti war movement whose sole purpose was to save lives. I call BS!
Once again we are the 'sandwich' generation catching hell from both sides. Many in older generations angry we upset the status quo, tho they raised us. Younger generations, i'm not sure what their gripe is except for the ones who buy into the idea that America was better when there was more concern for the already privileged than for the working stiffs (including farmers/ranchers, truckers, factory, store and sanitation workers) who keep the country fed, running and somewhat clean in spite those that litter.
 
I kind of doubt that we are a lot different from other generations. People are people, only our environment changes. One thing that certainly impacts the perception of our generation is having followed the WWII generation, "The Greatest Generation". They were forced into a very tough situation, and for the most part rose to the occasion. So we are often compared to them.

I suspect that we would have acted the same had we been in a similar situation.
 

Rah-Rah

Member
I kind of doubt that we are a lot different from other generations. People are people, only our environment changes. One thing that certainly impacts the perception of our generation is having followed the WWII generation, "The Greatest Generation". They were forced into a very tough situation, and for the most part rose to the occasion. So we are often compared to them.

I suspect that we would have acted the same had we been in a similar situation.
You are correct. We have really yet to see how the future young generation will step up and handle adversity. We have seen a little of it with some outspoken young people like the young girl from Sweden Greta Thunberg and others as well from other countries, but really haven't seen it as a whole yet and won't for sometime. I imagine like you have stated they will handle things as they come and are faced with them accordingly. Things will be different as times changes, but people adapt.
 

feywon

Senior Member
I think one of the first indicators was Christmas

The spirit of giving changed to the spirit of getting
(I blame the big catalogues)
Who fostered that and supported it? Our parents, most of whom wanted us to have 'better lives' and 'more' than they had. The ones who took the time to teach us values, they gave some of us a more balanced view of giving/getting
 


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