We all know the names: Boomers, Gen X and Millennials. Now we can add the “Xennials”, a cross-over generation between X-ers and Millennials that recently took the internet by storm.
The “Xennials” are supposedly a group born between the late 1970s and early 1980s who entered the labour market well after the recession of the early 1990s, but before the Global Financial Crisis. They had an analogue childhood, but digital young adulthood.
However, the “Xennials” must be taken with several grains of salt. There isn’t yet any strong academic evidence for the grouping, although clearly the idea resonates with a lot of people who felt left out by the usual categorisations.
I am a sociologist of youth and generations, who tracks Australians through young adulthood. There is some truth to generations talk, as our lives are shaped by the times in which we grow up. But the labels are blunt, homogenising, underplay inequality, and often function as nasty stereotypes.