What were boomers?

1 Answer
May 20, 2017

Probably the children of the "Baby Boom," born between 1946 and 1961.


"Boomer" has several possible meanings, including a ballistic submarine and an early White settler of Oklahoma, but is most commonly applied to the population "boom" beginning after the end of World War II (1945-46) and ending with widespread use of birth control pills (1960-61). It primarily refers to white, middle-class Americans and describing them will require a lot of generalizations.

This generation had many notable features. Born several years after the privations of the Great Depression (1929-1939), they had never seen an America where people didn't have cars, suburban homes, good jobs and disposable income. This generation's earliest members were in grade school when television and Rock n Roll music first became popular. They were raised by mothers who read Dr. Spock's baby care book instead of the harsh admonitions of "Spare the rod and spoil the child."

Baby Boomers questioned and rejected authority to an unprecedented degree. Many embraced a "hippie" ethos that scorned material wealth and flirted with Free Love. They resisted the draft of the Vietnam War at a much higher rate than their parents' generation did during World War II (although probably less than their great-grandfathers had during the Civil War). Recreational drug use had always been a part of the American landscape, but before the Baby Boomers, it was relatively unknown to suburban white kids.

The Baby Boom was succeeded by Generation X, a generation whose choices were more informed by computer literacy, the prevalence of AIDS, the end of the sexual revolution and a less-affluent upraising than their parents had had.