Demographers’ defined the baby boom as a birth surge started in 1946, after the World War II and reached its peak in 1957 and continued until 1964 because of the postwar prosperity. Most people uses “generation” as their term but demographers precisely referred it as “cohort” (group of individuals experiencing a certain event within a specified time). This reveals that social changes interconnect with the life of every baby boomer.
There two groups of baby boomers. The babies born from 1946 to 1955 were called early boomers. Those who were born from 1956 to 1964 were called as late boomers. The last set were born during the first tour of Beatles in America and the first early ones was approximately 18 years that time. They are were noticeable because of their big populations. They crowded junior high, elementary schools, high schools, labor market, and colleges.
Studies show that the impacts brought about by the society where baby boomers grew up contributes a lot in reshaping the society. They never think like their parents. Because the population of these cohorts is unprecedented during the 20th century, their beliefs and behaviors are then predicted to dominate things.
But there is also a great discrepancy in terms of economic status between early and late boomers. Compared to the energetic job market and emerging economy laid beneath the feet of early ones, late boomers needs adjustment on economic shifts. It is due to the rapid growth of service sectors, jobs for middle class became less stable, changing locations of workers, and career market adjustments.
Most are considered economic security as an elusive thing. They are the people who were born after the era of civil rights. Conducted studies even reveals income differences according to ethnicity, race, and birthplace creating ethnic classes. It was because one third of the population are Hispanic, African-American, or Asian besides the black and white Americans. Take for instance, the black boomer’s generation are considered inferior than whites, although the generation were rated the best in terms of education.
It is a fact that the life was accompanied by postwar transformations changing the American society. The ideas about sexuality, gender, and family were altered profoundly. Likewise, parenthood changed, old age and retirement was redefined, and labor forces were transformed. Even in their old age, they seize opportunity to stay involved and active like staying in their work force to meet the responsibilities of supporting their children.
The changes in the society were never brought solely by the stereotype but also the conservative types like Seth Grossman. They expressed themselves through street protests while the conservative use other forms such as leaflets, student newspapers, and forums. Although their actions did not attract the attention of media but they achieved their success when they forced a referendum which resulted in the withdrawal of Duke students from the National Student Association.
Conservative may not be a part of the projected boomer’s image but they became a strong force in making their way silently. They are not even in the front page of the newspapers because they still attend their class while others were boycotting. Nevertheless, they have supported conservative politicians like George Wallace in 1968.
One third of the populations of early boomers served during the Vietnam War. Other made a name in different fields throughout history. Joyce Johnson was an African-American who belongs to the stereotype her activist work in her graduate school. When she entered Duke School, she sought for advancement not only for herself but her entire race. She belongs in the Afro-American Society involved in the iconic events in the Duke campus during the 60s. Grossman and Johnson are baby boomers who contributed great change in their society.
Deep understanding about the baby boom generation is very important as they advanced on to their old age. It should be more of demographic curiosities because if demographic bulge move continuously on the system, then economic differences also persists. They once do their best in shaping the society providing significant impacts on the lives of many people besides themselves.