Americans have become overly enamored with generational labels—such as "millennials," "Gen X" and "baby boomers"—and their associated stereotypes. Used heavily by organizational leaders, marketing gurus, and self-proclaimed generational experts, these labels seem at first to conveniently simplify the complex diversity of the people around us.
But are the specific characteristics that each of these labels bring to mind accurate or even appropriate?
My research has shown that, in fact, they are false constructs of social fictions. We’ve replaced a real understanding of the individuals in any given generation with false assumptions about the generation as a whole.