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Stop Mugging GrandmaThe 'Generation Wars' and Why Boomer Blaming Won't Solve Anything$
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Jennie Bristow

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300236835

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300236835.001.0001

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Generation fables and the ‘end of history’

Generation fables and the ‘end of history’

(p.87) Chapter 5 Generation fables and the ‘end of history’
Stop Mugging Grandma

Jennie Bristow

Yale University Press

This chapter examines ‘generationalism’ — using the language of generations to narrate the social and political. It argues that generationalism means that we are in danger of taking historical stories way too personally. The chapter shows that the generationalism of the Sixties was as much about the failure of established institutions and ideologies to grasp what was happening as it was about the experience of the kids and the counterculture. Moving on half a century, the generationalism of the early twenty-first century tells us as much about our present anxieties as it does about the Sixties as a historical period. Whereas the Sixties Boomer was, until fairly recently, a source of wistful fascination, often bringing with it a romanticised nostalgia for a time when people felt they could think and live outside the box, the Boomer-blaming of the present day mobilises the stereotype as an example of everything that is seen to be wrong with the past.

Keywords:   generationalism, generation fables, generational thinking, historical stories, political identities

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