Sunday, March 16, 2008

Generation Jones

Generation Jones is a term that describes people born between the years 1954 and 1964. U.S. social commentator Jonathan Pontell identified the existence of this generation and coined the term “Generation Jones” for it.[1][2][3][4] Generation Jones has been referred to as a heretofore lost generation between the Baby boomers and Generation X, since prior to the popularization of Pontell’s theory, its members were included with either the Boomers or Xers. The connotations of the name “Generation Jones” include:

  • a large, anonymous generation
  • the slang term “jonesin,” which refers here to the unrequited craving felt by this generation of unfulfilled expectations

The term has been cited in the U.S.,[5] U.K.,[6] Western Europe,[7] Australia,[8] and New Zealand [9]. The birth years typically used in the U.S. are 1954-1965, but tend to vary slightly in other countries, usually starting no earlier than 1953, and ending no later than 1968.[10][11][12][13][14]

In demographic terms, Generation Jones was part of the baby boom which ended in the early 1960s. However, the events stereotypically associated with generational discussion of Boomers, including protests over civil rights and the Vietnam war and the emergence of rock music took place while the members of Generation Jones were still children or early teenagers. Thus the early life experience of this group was more similar, in many respects, to that commonly imputed to Generation X.

Since its introduction, Generation Jones has been the recipient of extensive media attention. It has been written about in hundreds of newspapers and magazines and discussed frequently on TV and radio shows.[15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23][24][25][1] Pontell appears regularly on TV networks like CNN, MSNBC, and BBC, discussing the cultural, political, and economic implications of this generation’s emergence.[26][27][20][16][28][29][30][31]