By Kerry Cue
In his article, The dream is still a dream in The Australian (A Plus, 6 Dec 2014) on the weekend demographer Bernard Salt wrote a brief but brilliant summary of the different attitudes across the generations. Paywall link.
I would argue that a generation cannot be summarised in a book, let alone in a few words. But Salt is talking about the influences of an era determining a generation’s attitudes. The era you experience as a child, a teen or an adult has a great impact on your outlook on life. Here is Salt’s summary:
The Frugal Generation : Having experienced the Depression and WWII they dreamed of a steady job and a modest home in the ‘burbs. This was security for them.
The Baby Boomers: Born post-WWII the Boomers still dreamed of home ownership. They tied themselves to mortgages (even if, I might add, they dreamed of liberating themselves in other ways)
Gen X: Born between 1966 and 1976, Generation X postponed having families for education and to travel. Their dream put “ ‘experiences’ ahead of home ownership”.
Gen Y: Born between 1977 and 1994, the big dream for this generation is ‘self-determination’. You cannot be in control of your life with a mortgage and kids and/or an office job and a boss. Their dream might involve an online start-up (or working in an orphanage in Cambodia). Whatever the case, they don’t just dream about taking ‘a turn at droving’; they pack their bags and go.
Bernard Salt’s latest book is More Decent Obsessions, MUP.
Photo Source: Genealogy Archives
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