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  • Kimberly OLeary

What are the Gen Jones Chronicles?

Updated: Dec 4, 2022

The Gen Jones Chronicles: Preserving Narratives from a Generation

The Gen Jones Chronicles preserves narratives of “Generation Jones” (born 1954-1964). It offers opportunities to tell Gen Jones stories through podcast interviews, discussions, and posts.

In this blog, I hope to explore the idea of “Generation Jones” (also called “Boomer Reboot” or “Boomer II”) through personal stories. Generation Jones is a moniker given to a cohort of people born between 1954-1964. This cohort was traditionally thought to be part of the Baby Boom generation, the only generation named by the U.S. Census Bureau. However, in the late 20th century, researchers began to notice that the boomers were really two distinct groups. One marketing research company, Beresford Research, calls these groups Boomer I and Boomer II, the latter born 1955-1964. You can see a chart here of all the generational cohorts from 1922-2012.

I was born in 1958. Most of my life, I felt like I was in the shadow of the Baby Boomers, who I generally thought to be 8-12 years older than I. Apparently, this feeling is a hallmark of Generation Jones. Boomer stories were in the news, in movies, and in books, but they weren’t my stories. In 1999, researcher Jonathen Pontell coined the label, “Generation Jones” to describe the cohort I was born into (1954-1964). In 2014, journalist Richard Pérez-Peña called it, “Boomer Redux” in an article titled, “Don’t Call Me A Boomer”, which he published in The New York Times. Those articles resonate with me. Today (December, 2022), we are in our late fifties to late sixties, either just retired or nearing retirement. I think this generation has more stories to tell.

I have begun writing short vignettes from my own life that I think characterize some of the experiences of people born during this time. I will post those vignettes in the "Stories" section of this website, under the project "My Stories." I hope that my stories can serve as as a springboard for reactions from others to begin to create a sense of narrative related to Gen Jones.

Once my stories are posted, I want to begin to interview others to get their stories, which I will post as podcasts. Look for those to start in mid-February, 2023.

I'm hoping that by late 2023 I can host a discussion of interested people to discuss their stories related to Generation Jones. I'll post more about that mid-2023.

In the meantime, please post your comments about Generation Jones. If you are a Joneser, what are your thoughts about "our" generation? If you're not, what are "we" like?

To read other sources on Generation Jones:

Williams, Jeffrey J. and Jonathan Pontell. "The Generation in Between: An Interview with Jonathan Pontell." symploke, vol. 23, 2015, p. 485-511. Project MUSE

Pontell, “Stuck in the Middle,” USA Today 18 March 2011

Jeffrey J. Williams, “Not My Generation,” Chronicle of Higher Education 4 April 2014 (under construction but supposed to be opening soon)

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