We stereotype generations into groupings such as Millennials and Boomers to understand ourselves and those around us—but is this an oversimplification of a complex reality.
It’s common in business and education for managers to ascribe stereotypical labels to people based on their age. According to Kitty Drake of The Guardian, the generational stereotype provides a simple solution to understanding yourself and those around you. Drake debunks the generational labelling as follows:
- It is oversimplified for explaining personality and behaviour inconsistency.
- It ascribes socio-economic circumstances, such as spending power, to a group within a limited time cohort for marketing purposes.
- Generative language is too vague to be meaningful.
Modern business management theory contains specific actions for managing generational types—these have no more accuracy than personality quizzes found in popular magazines.
Note previous Runway article on this topic: Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z labels: Necessary or nonsense?
- Feb 2020 The Atlantic Oh No, They’ve Come Up With Another Generation Label
- Mar 2020 The Conversation Baby boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z labels: Necessary or nonsense?
Note some older articles on this subject:
- Your generational identity is a lie
- How much do members of “Generation Alpha,” or any generation, really have in common?
- The Economist: Myths about millennials
- Stereotypes of any kind are harmful to an organization, .
- Why Generational Theory Makes No Sense
- Millennial Stereotyping In The Workplace Isn't Funny
- Washington Post Your generational identity is a lie