What are the defining characteristics of Generation X?


Quick Answer

Members of Generation X were born between 1965 and 1980. Generation X generally prefers not to be looked at as a group, because its members are extremely individualistic, self-reliant and entrepreneurial. Generation X is technologically savvy, goal-oriented, philanthropic, and cynical toward institutions. Generation X wants to make a difference and places a high value on having a work-life balance.

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What are the defining characteristics of Generation X?
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Full Answer

Generation X grew up during a time of rising divorce rates, and while both parents entered the workforce, Generation Xers became latchkey kids who learned to look after themselves, resulting in a strong independent characteristic. Generation Xers tend to marry and have children later, but family is important to them. Generation X grew up facing disappointment with government over Vietnam, Watergate and other political scandals as well as economic recession, making Generation Xers cynical toward government and big business. As the first generation to embrace personal computers and the Internet, Xers are comfortable with technology. Cultural events that have influenced Generation X include cable television, video games, music television, the rise of HIV/AIDS, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the end of apartheid and the Persian Gulf War. Generation X is a smaller group sandwiched between the much larger Baby Boomer and Millennial generations.

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