Generation X–the sons and daughters of the Baby Boomers–were big news at the turn of the 90s in the same way as Millennials and Gen Z are today. Often portrayed as angsty slackers, they nevertheless powered the rise of the Alternation Nation, grunge and hip hop through the decade. But like every angsty bunch, they eventually grew up and moved on. What’s become of them? The BBC takes a look.
It’s a familiar and ongoing feud: baby boomers in one corner and millennials in the other. It seems the two generations are constantly at each other’s throats. Less familiar, though, is any mention of that other generation, the one born in between the boomers and the Millennials. Whatever happened to Generation X? Where has it been, that lost generation of people now aged between 35 and 55, first identified back in 1991 by author Douglas Coupland? How has it evolved, and what, if anything, can we learn from it today?
Those were the questions that occurred to British Gen X-er Tiffanie Darke, whose book Now We Are 40: Whatever Happened to Generation X? has just been published. Working in the media, she would attend regular meetings with advertising agencies. “They were completely obsessed with these two groups,” Darke tells BBC Culture. “The job-for-life boomers with good pensions, who are rich in both time and cash, and the anxious millennials who are financially less secure, but tech-savvy.” After a while, she began to think: “Hang on, what about me? What about the in-between generation?”