Sunday, February 3, 2008

Talkin' Bout Those Generations

Two great pieces on age cohorts and demography in today's Washington Post.

The Boomers Had Their Day. Make Way For The Millennials.

Getting Past The 60's? It's Not Going To Happen.

The first article basically asserts that the Baby Boomers have had their day and that presidential politics and political power is going to shift away from them to the Millennials (born in the 80's and 90's). My only contention to an otherwise fine article is in their "dissing" of Generation X (born in the 60's and 70's). This is my generation, granted, but summarizing our political philosophy as "Life sucks, and then you die," is a bit trite and silly.

For all the talk of Barack Obama changing the landscape and reflecting the power of the Millennials, the authors seem to forget that Obama is, in fact, a borderline member of Generation X. And in my observations around campus, a sizable and vocal number of students seem more excited and enthused about the candidacy of Ron Paul, the oldest candidate running for president, than anyone else.

The second article is a great analysis of the ongoing effect that the 1960's still has today. Interestingly, we discuss this a bit in both Criminology and Punishment, that while the 1960's is often remembered with fondness and positivity, it actually brought a radical shift in the use of crime as political capital, the militarization of policing, and the use of law enforcement surveillance to control certain segments of the population. Not exactly "sex, drugs and rock n' roll."

Read them when you get a chance. Understanding generational cycles and how they play a huge role in the voting patterns and political direction of the country is vitally important.

2 comments:

laura behm said...

Mr. Krohn-

I just wanted to let you know that I still read this every time you post. Thanks for gathering articles together that are interesting and relevant. I'm always curious as to what the next article will be about.

Laura Behm

Todd Krohn said...

Thanks, Laura. It's nice to know some folks are reading, even if it's only a handful a day!