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

Rebecca Leach (Keele University)
Chris Phillipson (Keele University)
Simon Biggs (Institute of Gerontology, King's College London)
Annemarie Money (School of Medicine, Manchester University)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Article publication date: 1 December 2008

357

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.

Keywords

Citation

Leach, R., Phillipson, C., Biggs, S. and Money, A. (2008), "Sociological perspectives on the baby boomers: An exploration of social change", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 19-26. https://doi.org/10.1108/14717794200800024

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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