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Generation Gap?
(December 06, 2004) Remember the "Generation Gap"? In the sixties, some white kids and their parents lost the ability to communicate with each other. Driven by fundamental demographics (the baby boom was taking control of its purchasing power), the culture felt charged and changing. Between fashion, music, the Civil Rights movement and anti-war protests and changing hairstyles, things got squirrelly to the point that the military was used to maintain order.

In those days, culture was pretty monolithic. Three television networks, two political parties, one kind of bread, three car companies, clear racial boundaries, low divorce rates, factory jobs and no computers or Internet. A broad based Generation Gap was easy to see because, outside a very limited range of possibility, a thing was either mainstream or it wasn't.

It's not so easy to describe the situation today. The media is fractured and audiences are smaller. Commonality and the sense of national community are under constant assault. Talking about the characteristics of a "generation" doesn't really make a lot of sense just yet.

The good news is that the confrontational violence of the 60's generation gap will probably never manifest itself in today's culture. Although the Generation Y group is roughly the same size as the Boomer group, they are a significantly smaller percentage of the population. Coupled with the growth in cultural diversity, youth movements are liable to be too diffuse to gain enough traction to make the news.

That's not to say that there isn't a crisis of equal or greater proportion. It just means that the energy seems to be staying below the "radar". We're coming to the conclusion that the Gap is actually larger this time around. The implications for a Recruiter working the entry level (and first move) end of the spectrum are enormous.

- John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.

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Materials written by John Sumser © TwoColorHat. All Rights Reserved.
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