Generation Z

From Academic Kids

"Generation Z" is a tentative name for the generation born after Generation Y.

According to the book Generations, this generation, which the authors (William Strauss and Neil Howe) simply call "New Adaptive" pending a name reflecting their observed character, will be born from 2004 to 2025 (their later book, The Fourth Turning, uses the name "New Silent" instead). However, some observers place this generation's first birth year earlier, perhaps 1997, on the grounds that a person born in that year could not expect to have any first-hand memory of the September 11, 2001 attacks; indeed, the alternate name of Homelander Generation has been proposed to convey the essence of this. Yet another alternative is Generation D, with the D standing for 'digital'. However, not following the culturally unobservant Neil and Strauss laws, the accepted birth range will probably be 1994 to 2006 or 2007, roughly encompassing most of the Clinton and Bush presidencies, and the period between when Generation Y. Their numbers will be larger than Generation X, their parents, because of a trend towards rising birth rates among Generation X per couple in a search for the security of family life, but they will still be far, far smaller both in total numbers and per year count than Generation Y. They will be politically active in their more successful stance, and literary and cultural figures and leaders during the next real cultural revolution period to the as-yet-unnamed generation activists born roughly between 2007 and 2023 or 2024, the children of the future "establishment" in corporate, political, and social America, Generation Y, the children of the baby boomers.

Conceptually, their great-grandparents belong mostly to the Silent Generation (with whom Strauss and Howe expect them to have similar life experiences), and the Baby boomers form the core of their grandparents. Their parents are seen as being roughly evenly divided between Generation X and Generation Y (13ers and Millennials, respectively, to Strauss and Howe); their children will be born from approximately 2026 to 2069, while their typical grandchildren will be born from 2069 to 2091. These future dates are assuming that generations have an average length of 22 years; the years given are the top of the bell curve (these estimates would need to be revised to reflect earlier dates if indeed their first birth year is ultimately accepted to be 1999). However, not following the culturally unobservant Neil and Strauss laws, the accepted birth range will probably be 1994 to 2008, roughly encompassing most of the Clinton and Bush presidencies. They are the children of Generation X, and will grow up and are growing up with more uncertainty and economic shakiness than Generation Y did, partially because of the economically uncertain and shadowed-over position of their parents, Generation X. Because of the shady and loose parenting which many Generation Xers were given, Generation Xers love their children, Generation Z, but are oftentimes unable to give them life structure or to truly parent them in a way that will give them success in life, or to nurture them the way that Generation Y was. However, these children will grow up savvy and relatively educated, if without the written-out success of Generation Y, and often have to fend for themselves in high school and life. However, they will often be hard-working and successful, if never as influential as other generations as a whole, and more confused and less assertive about their roles. It may take them awhile to realize what may become a growing disillusionment with corporate America, which they were totally raised under, and the new order of Generation Y.

This generation will likely have an extremely long reach, with many living into the 22nd century. Many may even live to see the arrival of babies that will live into the 23rd century, babies that will look back on John F. Kennedy as Kennedy himself looked back on George Washington.


Preceded by:
Generation Y
"Generation Z"

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