Below I quote from an old blog post (2004!) that compares the mindsets of what the author calls "Baby Boomers" and the "emerging generation." You could also say those who adopt a modern mindset vs. a postmodern:
Baby Boomers were idealists who worshipped heroes, perfect icons of beauty and
success. Today these icons are seen as phony, posed and laughable. Our cool as
ice, suave lady's man James Bond has become the comic poser Austin Powers
or the tragically flawed and vulnerable Jason Bourne of The Bourne Identity.
That's the essence of the new worldview; the rejection of delusion, a quiet
demand for gritty truth. We're seeing it reflected in our movies, our television
shows and our music. [editor's note: It's interesting to see that in the new movies Bond is more of a flawed, gritty character – this plays better with younger audiences, whereas the sooth and suave Bond seems unbelievable].
Baby Boomers believed in big dreams, reaching for the stars, personal freedom, "be
all that you can be." Today's generation believes in small actions, getting
your head out of the clouds, social obligation, "do your part."
A Baby Boomer anchored his or her identity in their career. The emerging
generation sees his or her job only as a job.
Baby Boomers were diplomatic and sought the approval of others. The emerging
generation feels it's more honest to be blunt, and they really don't care if you
approve or not.
Boomers were driven, self-reliant and impressed by authority. Emergents are laid
back, believe in working as a team, and have less confidence in "the boss."
This lays out many of the core issues I see in the difference between the way "modern" people do things and the way "postmodern" people do them. I think we're right in the middle of a huge culture shift, with wide-reaching implications for the church.
(ht: bill kinnon)
Bill Kinnon says
I love this quote, Ben and think your assessment is bang on.
Relevant to your blog post is the fact that many commentators have said that Obama is post-Boomer, and more specifically part of Generation Jones, born 1954-1965, between the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Google this and you’ll see it’s a pretty long list of commentators who have already stated this position. Among those who have publicly referred to Obama as part of Generation Jones are: David Brooks (New York Times), Karen Tumulty (Time Magazine), Roland Martin (CNN), Michael Steele (Chairman, GOPAC), Chris Van Hollen (Chairman, DCCC), Stuart Rothenberg (Roll Call), Clarence Page (Chicago Tribune), Juan Williams (Fox News Channel), Howard Wolfson (Political Advisor), Mel Martinez (U.S. Senator [R-Florida]), Carl Leubsdorf (Dallas Morning News), Jonathan Alter (Newsweek), and Peter Fenn (MSNBC).
Ben Sternke says
Obama’s post-Boomerdom really is an interesting fact – I wonder if part of his appeal to the younger generations has to do with the way he carries himself: he seems to embody a less overtly “heroic” persona (even though others have attempted to make Obama into some kind of messiah).
But he does seem to have an ability to see both sides of an issue and deal with complexity much better than his predecessor.