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Generation X: Active, balanced and happy. Seriously?

Friday, December 9, 2011
posted by Rita Handrich

Remember them? Cynical, jaded, depressive punks? Unwashed slackers? Well, it’s time for a mental reset. They grew up. In the most recent issue of The Jury Expert, we have an article updating all of us on Generation X today.

This is an update of an article we first wrote back in 2000 attempting to describe Generation X in more balanced terms that reflected the actual research  literature rather than solely individual opinions and the largely opinion-based popular media. It’s fascinating to return to your past writing and update it for current sensibilities while still retaining the integrity of the original work. Not an easy task.

Nor has it been easy for Generation X. A smaller generation sandwiched between two  large (and often over-shadowing) generations (the Boomers and the Millennials/Gen Y)–Generation X morphed and matured while we weren’t looking.

We focus, in this new article, on updating the variables we identified as important for jury selection, voir dire and the hearing of your case back in 2000. And, naturally, we added in a few new ones as well since things change over the course of a decade.

Gen Xers are now 30-45 years old and have mortgages, families and careers. And guess what they’ve done?! They are the most educated generation ever. They are employed at a higher proportion than any other generation. They are married with children and are credited with reducing the divorce rate to the lowest we’ve seen in decades. They have retained and concretely defined their youthful values of family, work/life balance and acting locally not globally so that their lives actually reflect their values. And they are happy.

Who would have thought it? Take a look at our article on Generation X to see the summary of the research and to identify strategies for jury selection and voir dire. If we’re lucky, it will also update your thinking on these formerly inscrutable members of the venire.

Keene, DL Handrich, RR. Generation X: Active, balanced and happy. Seriously? The Jury Expert, November, 2011.

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