Generation What-next?

A couple of days ago, I was having some idle social chit-chat with a friend after dinner. Topics were totally arbitrary, as usual, and we ended up wondering how printers were named – for example, mine as Canon i450. Very Saussurean of us. He said he’d heard that printers were often named after reference numbers for the internal memos that had finalised the respective product plans. My theory was that there had been certain fads to be followed in naming, like ‘i-‘, ‘e-‘, or ‘m-‘. We then moved on to another topic, but this conversation got me to think later about what a fuss the media had made over Generation X in my days. (I must admit I was hesitating to write this post as I knew it would be age-revealing. :P) I remember it was then followed by Y, Z, W, N and so on and so forth.

I understand people don’t fit in boxes. Indeed, many criticise that these distinctions are only made up for marketing purposes. Guessing what’s coming next is still interesting and relevant for my research though. When I was preparing a PhD proposal, based upon my DEA dissertation I was then completing in Grenoble, I wrote that Roh’s success in the presidential election of 2002 was attributed to several factors, one of which was that “his promise to offer a ‘participatory government’ had appealed to Netizens: the so-called ‘P-Generation’ (i. e. participatory generation)”. The next election is now less than a year away. The media already started to pour out speculations. One thing they unanimously point out is that UCC will be the key feature of the election campaign, which also supports my preliminary research findings. Possible arrival of, say, the C-Generation?

Oooops, I’ve just googled it and found that ‘C’ is already taken. Well, we are not surprised, are we?


One thought on “Generation What-next?

  1. Perhaps one might take one’s clue from what is nowadays a relentless form of corporate branding and refer to the iGeneration, eGeneration, xGeneration or whatever? N’est-ce pas?

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