The term captured the Zeitgeist of the early 1990s following Douglas Coupland's 1991 cult novel, Generation X, Tales for an Accelerated Culture.
Generation Xers are twenty- and thirty-somethings brought up on divorce. Sometimes dubbed slackers, they are "couch potatoes" who make a conscious effort not to succeed, taking low status McJobs for which they are hopelessly overqualified.
Their "successophobia" is borne out of a fear that if one is successful, then one's personal needs will be forgotten and one's childish needs will no longer be catered for. It is a retreat from adult responsibilities and/or avoiding possible failure in one's true occupation.
Generation Xers believe in Me-ism: the search by an individual, in the absence of training or traditional religious tenets, to formulate a personally tailored religion by him/herself - most frequently, a mishmash of reincarnation, personal dialogue with a nebulously defined god figure, naturalism, and karmic eye-for-eye attitudes.
Clare GarnerReuse content