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Worldviews and Beliefs Generations

Essay by   •  February 18, 2013  •  Term Paper  •  2,569 Words (11 Pages)  •  757 Views

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Abstract

This paper explores four published articles, six books and three web sites that report on results from research about three generations of people over the span of approximately fifty years. The articles and books suggest that there is a strong connection between generations in relation to their experiences, worldviews and beliefs. The information gathered for this research paper is consistent across sources. The paper examines how much each generation influenced the other as its members traveled through their life cycle. Researchers have determined that every generation has a specific characteristic that distinguishes it from the other. In short, the overall effect one generation has on the other depends on circumstances that existed during that period. We will examine generations referred to as Baby boomers, Generation X and Millennials and how their history helped to shape the world today. It is clear that these three generations are distinct in terms of their experiences, worldviews and beliefs. However, it is also evident that history shaped the development of each group, allowing the generation that followed to benefit from earlier periods in history, creating pockets of similarities across the decades.

Experiences in their lifetimes

The Baby Boomer Generation is the name given to persons born between "1947 and 1966" and was seen as the last generation that effected any great changes on American society. This generation was distinguishable by a significant increase in birth rates following World War II and is seen as one of the largest generations in the U.S. Baby Boomers are allied with a dismissal of traditional values. Experiences during this time shaped the Boomers and were contributory to the characteristic of rebellious as they were defined. Some of the memorable events for the Baby Boomers are the Cuban missile crisis and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. These events as well as their rejection of traditional values affected their life by inspiring them to fight for the civil rights movement and the women's movement (Freedman, 1999). These events changed the life of other generations as well, by paving the way for African American people to achieve equal rights and for women to earn the right to have equal pay and vote.

Moreover, Generation X is used to define the group of Americans born between "1965 to 1980" and is known for the decline in births after the baby boom. Persons found in this generation were diversified, adaptable and resilient. The people in Generation X are known as people born and raised in the information age. This generation is skilled and is able to maneuver the new technologies that were being created with rapid globalization. For Generation X, memorable events include the Vietnam War, the 1979 oil crisis and the energy crisis. As a result, this generation believed that war was fundamentally wrong. Subsequently, people around the world began to recognize the importance of, limits to, our natural resources, and attempted to use less oil and energy to meet their needs. The three big American automotive companies, Ford, Chrysler and General Motors marked down full size automobiles to meet the demands of Congress. These revelations had a profound impact on the Millennials, motivating them to develop energy saving ideas and inventions such as solar panels (Greenberg, 2008) as a means to safeguard our natural resources. They continued their quest to find other types of fuels to use to save the world looking at energy alternatives such as wind turbines.

The Millennials or Generation Y which includes those born between the second half of the 1970s and first of half of 1990 is a generation highly immersed in a digital world. Persons born in this period are vastly different from the prior generations and are familiar with cell phones, video games and the internet. Although Generation Y is vastly different from the prior generations, they can be seen as a combination of Baby Boomers and Generation X since they have the collaboration of the Baby Boomers and the technology that was started in Generation X. One memorable event for the Millennials is the Iraq War and the attack on the World Trade Center. The United States government touted the Iraq war as a crucial step in finding and dismantling Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The United States and its allies declared that Iraq posed a threat to security around the world. The bombing of the World Trade Center was one of the most heartfelt moments in time. At that time, the world came together and we as a human race helped each other out. The impact this feeling of outrage, betrayal and consequential world connection will have on future generations is left to be seen. However, it appears that it may serve to make us more vigilant as a nation and more attune to human suffering around the world.

These three generations experienced life changing events that served to build character, moral fortitude and a deep level of commitment to a cause. As generations morph from one era to another, their experiences serve to influence their opinion about life and the way they see the world. Through these tainted lenses, they view and shape the world.

World Views

The Baby Boomer views the world as simply a place where traditional values are held high and people are treated as equals. They feel this way because of the hard life they experienced at the end of the Second World War and at the beginning of the Vietnam War (Howe, 1992). The Boomers lived a life consumed by wars and were committed to help the people fighting in them. Their role included assisting in the building of planes, tanks and donating food to soldiers to support the war effort. The type of life they lived made them very patriotic and willing to serve their country. These traits emerged into family traditions and values that were past down from one generation to the next.

Generation X continued the tradition of patriotism by working in factories to ensure that soldiers on the front line had what they needed to fight through the end of the Vietnam war, such as ammunition, helicopters and planes. Like the Baby Boomers, they saw the end of a war period, namely the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall. All their political experiences and cultural perspectives were shaped by these events. Their life was focused on changing the world through peaceful efforts (Bernard, 2001). They lived through a time when demonstrations for peace were prevalent and the war effort became unpopular. Like their ancestors, their commitment to making a better life for generations

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