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Many in this generation desire to age in their homes and make their own choices as long as possible. Living preferences are changing, as are relationship patterns, such as greater numbers of mid- and late-life adults who are single, childless, or live at a distance from adult children.

They promote choice and independence, which are particularly important for the aging baby boom generation. As academic social workers and gerontologists, we have studied numerous issues of later life. Professionally, we wanted to see how these communities promote health and well-being. Personally, we are both baby boomers and are exploring options for our retirement years. We both have had a parent who lived in a long-term care setting. Our caregiving experience prompted us to consider where we like to live, and where we see ourselves aging.

Cohousing is a relatively new type of living arrangement. The first modern cohousing community was developed in Denmark in In the U. There are now 17 such communities , and 28 are currently in formation or under construction. Cohousing communities bring people together who choose to live cooperatively based upon shared values.

Examples are the desire to promote environmental sustainability or social justice, or a shared spirituality. Common elements include a community vision statement that articulates important principles along with a hierarchical governance and decision-making structure. Residents live in individual homes but share some spaces, such a common building with a kitchen, library and exercise room.

Patios and gardens are positioned in a way to promote interaction. As a result, residents engage in communal meals and other activities. These new arrangements differ from traditional over residential communities, which are planned and managed by a developer. These places are often large and provide organized activities for those who live there.

SCCs, however, are typically small and are planned, developed and operated by the residents themselves. The whole idea is to promote community, social engagement and active aging. New York : Ballantine Books, Kingson, E. Lee, R. Levy, F. New York : Russell Sage Foundation, The Economic Future of American Families. Washington, D. Macunovich, D. Edited by Neil J.

Smelser and Paul B. Oxford: Pergamon Press. Forthcoming, a. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Forthcoming, b. Pampel, F. Schieber, S. Census Bureau. Available on the Internet at www. Welch, F. Westoff, C. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. MacUnovich, Diane J. October 7, Retrieved October 07, from Encyclopedia. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list. Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.

Born between and , the baby boomers represent the largest generational birth cohort in U. Following World War II , a fertility surge coincided with rapid economic expansion. Government, industry, and society all fueled the boom. Governmental policies encouraged particular models of suburban family life, from expanded veterans' benefits and easy housing loans to the replacement of many women in wartime jobs with men in peacetime employment.

From to , the suburban population doubled, from 36 to 72 million, becoming the largest single sector of the nation's population. Though suburbanization was a predominantly white, middle-class phenomenon, the boom crossed nearly all categories of race, class, ethnicity, and religion. Liberalized immigration policies also contributed to increases in the birthrate, especially for Mexican and Chinese people in the United States , throughout the late s and s. As Cold War anticommunism and pro-corporatism merged with the suburban ideal, the nuclear family became charged with symbolic and practical meanings for the health of the individual, community, and nation.

Those who did not fit into the ideal suburban, middle-class, married, white family structure faced stigmatization. Black female household heads were frequently held accountable for their own poverty, and their children were marginalized. Such attitudes made it possible to formally and informally deny young, poor women of color access to a variety of health and social services throughout the s and s. Community displacement due to wartime and postwar mobility and suburbanization decreased the role of extended family networks in providing parenting advice and support.

In an age of technological innovation, parents turned to experts such as Dr. Benjamin Spock, who encouraged positive reinforcement and full-time parental devotion to affectionate child-raising. Throughout the s and s, critics grew concerned with the potential lack of limits that could result from what scholar Richard Hofstadter called "the overvalued child. Boomer childhoods were filled with vast institutional, social, and media attention. During the s and early s, elementary schools could not be built fast enough to keep up with demand, and membership in Little League and the Boy and Girl Scouts exploded.

Churches enjoyed a rise in membership from The media quickly recognized the potential to reach the boomer child market via the new phenomenon of television. The growth of children's programming, such as The Mickey Mouse Club, which began in , allowed direct toy advertising to children, cutting parents and educators out of the loop. Toys also shifted from parent-directed play to advertiser-led consumption. Barbie, for example, introduced in , just as older boomers headed into adolescence, modeled a teenage lifestyle of carefree consumerism rather than an idealization of motherhood or family.

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In their teens, boomers continued to transform institutions and culture. High school enrollment rose due to boththe sheer quantity of teenagers and an increasing pressure to keep all teenagers in school through graduation. Perhaps most significantly, boomers experienced the rewards and strains of school integration, which gradually followed Brown v. Board of Education in Questions of racial integration and equality were concerns for most young people. Little practical change occurred until the decade after the Civil Rights Act , when 75 percent of African-American students still attended segregated schools.

For later boomers, experiences of mandatory integration through the busing of students to various districts were common.

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By , only 17 percent of black students still attended formally segregated schools. Youth dating culture changed significantly throughout the s and s. In the early postwar years, the previous system of dating many different people was replaced by the ideal of "going steady" with a single partner.

Premarital intercourse became more common, although long after the advent of the birth control pill in , and even the legalization of abortion with Roe v. Wade in , young people tended to be critical of "going all the way," or having sexual intercourse.

The Baby Boom

Like their parents, boomer teens eagerly embraced consumerism as a means of personal fulfillment, although they rejected the corollary of familial security. Marketing expanded to meet their desires for "self-expression," with everything from mod clothes to rock music. By the late s, anti-materialist youth aesthetics were conjoined with teens who had higher disposable incomes and greater recreational expenditures than any previous generation. As such, the combination of consumerism and the linked belief in the therapeutic self came to define the baby boom generation.

Together, they fueled young people's insistence on free expression, from boys wearing long hair in high school to the purchasing of "alternative" clothing, rock music , and drugs, to protesting against the Vietnam-era military draft. Protest they did.

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In the late s, high school students fought for a say on dress code regulations, textbook selection, and club management, engaging in sit-ins and publishing underground newspapers. They received validation from the more extensive and radical boomer college battles about free speech, the war, civil rights , and women's issues. They also found support in such institutional high places as the U. Supreme Court, which, in Tinker v. Des Moines in , ruled that high school students had a right to free speech. Young people also found inspiration in a countercultural movement for personal liberation that was geared toward universal love and a rejection of such mainstream values as monogamy and careerism.

While the way for part-time, discretionary-fund teen employment was paved by the rise of suburban shopping malls and fast-food restaurants, nonwhite and lower-income teens, especially young men in inner cities, needed jobs. For them, opportunities to work became scarcer throughout the s and s. Young people participated in a wave of urban uprisings throughout the mid-to lates.

They also organized to attack systems that failed to address their needs. In March , for example, Chicano and Chicana youth organized a boycott of five East Los Angeles high schools to protest overcrowding, discriminatory practices, and related high drop-out levels. Unlike early boomers, who were born between and and were collectively named Time 's Man of the Year in , late boomers born through were in many ways the generation's forgotten members.

American society was less invested in raising them as "ideal" children than it was in simply managing them. Many youth-related institutions were prepared to accommodate them.

To further facilitate the gradual transition from childhood to adolescence, the s saw the rise of the middle school. In , only existed, but by there were over 6, Teenagers in the s, in large part, retreated from political activity into a consumer-based exploration of peer-based belonging. Recreational drug use rose dramatically, and due in part to the women's movement and sexual liberation, teens experienced a gradual shifting away from formalized steady courtship toward heterosexual group socializing with more informal dating and sexual relations.

Nevertheless, for some late boomers the s were a time of involvement within the growing movements for people of color, women, gay people, and the environment. Baby boomers redefined the meanings of childhood and youth in the United States. Youth culture and institutions will continue to feel their presence for decades to come.

Bailey, Beth L. Chafe, William H. New York : Oxford University Press. Joe Austin and Michael Nevin Willard. Echols, Alice. Minneapolis : University of Minnosota Press. Berkeley: University of California Press. Jackson, Kenneth T. New York: Oxford University Press. Jones, Landon Y. May, Elaine Tyler. New York: Basic Books.

Miller, James. Cambridge, MA. Solinger, Rickie. New York: Routledge. Sugrue, Thomas J. Lacking money during the Great Depression —41; see entry under s— The Way We Lived in volume 2 and unsure of the future during the war, many young couples put off having families during these years. With the war over and economic prosperity restored, they no longer had to wait.

Baby boom generation

By , the "baby boom" was on, with more babies being born than ever before. Because of their numbers, baby boomers, those people born between and when the birth rate leveled off , are a generation that has had a great impact on American life and culture. Between and , seventy-eight million babies were born in the United States alone.

As these children grew up, their numbers created unique problems. In the late s and early s, nurses, doctors, and hospitals struggled to deal with overcrowding as so many women gave birth. In the s, as these kids reached school age, suddenly there were not enough school classrooms and teachers to meet the demand.

In the s and early s, these children created the same problems for college and universities. After college, all these students wanted jobs, putting pressure on the job market. When baby boomers begin to retire around , many worry that services for the elderly—namely health care and Social Security—will not be able to meet the demand.


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At every stage of their lives, the baby-boom generation has created unique problems because of its size. When the baby boomers were young, their numbers could also create opportunities.

Millennials Post Like Baby Boomers in This Hilarious Facebook Group

All these new kids needed things—diapers and toys at first, school buildings and clothes, records and cars later, and all kinds of products that created a booming economy. Many baby boomers grew up in material comfort, much more so than their parents who had suffered through the Depression and World War II. The baby boom created great demand for housing, which helped create the many new suburban communities that sprung up after Retrieved December 12, The New York Times.

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