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Sociological perspectives on the baby boomers: An exploration of social change

Sociological perspectives on the baby boomers: An exploration of social change The ‘baby‐boom’ generation has emerged as a significant group in debates focusing on population change. The demographic context concerns the increase in the birth rate across industrialised countries from the mid‐1940s through to the mid‐1960s. From a sociological perspective, boomers have been viewed as a group with distinctive experiences that set them apart from previous generations. In the UK context, however, there have been relatively few detailed studies of the characteristics of the boomer generation and, in particular, that of first‐wave boomers (born between 1945 and 1954) now entering retirement. This article draws on a research project exploring changes in consumption and identity affecting this cohort. The paper reviews some of the key social and demographic changes affecting this group, highlighting a mixture of continuities and discontinuities over previous cohorts. The article concludes with an assessment of the value of sociological research for furthering understanding of the baby‐boomer generation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality in Ageing and Older Adults Emerald Publishing

Sociological perspectives on the baby boomers: An exploration of social change

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1471-7794
DOI
10.1108/14717794200800024
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The ‘baby‐boom’ generation has emerged as a significant group in debates focusing on population change. The demographic context concerns the increase in the birth rate across industrialised countries from the mid‐1940s through to the mid‐1960s. From a sociological perspective, boomers have been viewed as a group with distinctive experiences that set them apart from previous generations. In the UK context, however, there have been relatively few detailed studies of the characteristics of the boomer generation and, in particular, that of first‐wave boomers (born between 1945 and 1954) now entering retirement. This article draws on a research project exploring changes in consumption and identity affecting this cohort. The paper reviews some of the key social and demographic changes affecting this group, highlighting a mixture of continuities and discontinuities over previous cohorts. The article concludes with an assessment of the value of sociological research for furthering understanding of the baby‐boomer generation.

Journal

Quality in Ageing and Older AdultsEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2008

Keywords: Baby boomers; Family change; Housing; Consumption; Leisure and retirement; Population change

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