Archive for March 28th, 2016

March 28, 2016

Me Generation

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The Me Generation refers to the ‘baby boomer’ generation (Americans born during the 1946 to 1964 post-war baby boom) and the self-involved qualities that some social critics associated with it. Boomers were dubbed the ‘Me’ generation by writer Tom Wolfe during the 1970s; Christopher Lasch was another writer who commented on the rise of a culture of narcissism among the younger generation. The phrase caught on with the general public, at a time when ‘self-realization’ and ‘self-fulfillment’ were becoming cultural aspirations among young people, who considered them far more important than social responsibility.

The 1960s are remembered as a time of political protests, radical experimentation with new cultural experiences (e.g. Sexual Revolution, ‘happenings,’ and New Age spirituality). The Civil Rights Movement gave rebellious young people serious goals to work towards. Cultural experimentation was justified as being directed toward spiritual or intellectual enlightenment. The 1970s, in contrast, were a time of disillusionment with idealistic politics among the young, particularly after the resignation of Richard Nixon, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the end of the Vietnam War. Unapologetic hedonism became acceptable among the young, expressed in the Disco music popular at the time.

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