Generation Jones – definition and meaning

Generation Jones refers to people born between 1954 and 1964-65. We sometimes call them the ‘Lost Generation.’ They have this nickname because they were born between the Baby Boomers and Generation X birth dates. Generation X people were born between the mid-1960s and the late 1970s.

Some people, however, insist that Generation Jones’ birth date began in 1956 or 1957.

If you were born between 1954-56 and 1964-65, you might also call yourself a Genjoneser.

Initially, we mistakenly lumped Genejonesers with Baby Boomers because of they were born during a high birth rate period. However, over time, sociologists began to embrace Generation Jones as a separate generation.

Baby Boomers were born immediately after the Second World War when couples started thinking about starting a family. After the Second World War there was a ‘baby boom,’ hence the name.

Generation Jones – Jonathan Pontell

American author, Jonathan Pontell, first coined the term. In a 2011 USA Today article ‘Stuck in the Middle,’ he described Generation Jones.

Regarding Generation Jones, Pontell once said:

“It’s a lost or forgotten generation in the sense that a lot of attention is given to the Baby Boom Generation, and then there was a whole Gen X babble-palooza that started in the early 1990s.”

“I would argue that the spotlight passed over a large generation in between.”

Generation Jones - definition and examples of people
Many famous, influential, and powerful people today belong to Generation Jones.

Jonesers versus Boomers

Jonesers and Boomers have a lot in common. The two generations border each other. Both generations were children during a period of economic boom.

However, for the Jonesers, that changed during their late teens and when they came of age. During the 1970s, they faced a deterioratig economy due to the oil crises.

The souring economy and the Watergate scandal contributed to a changing cultural mood. In fact, the Jonesers’ experiences made them much more cynical than the idealistic Boomers.

Baby Boomers were teens and young adults during the decade of flower-power, hippies, and the Beatles, i.e., the 1960s. Baby boomers were all about ‘make love, not war’ and ‘peace on Earth.’

The term ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ formed part of the culture of Generation Jones. Young Jonesers coined the slang term ‘jones’ or ‘jonesing’ meaning ‘craving’ or ‘yearning.’

Jonesers had huge expectations in the sixties as children. However, as young adults in the 1970s and 1980s, they confronted high unemployment and de-industrialization.

Generation Jones acquired an unfulfilled ‘jonesing’ or yearning quality for the more prosperous 1960s.

Video – Generation Jones

In this video, Bill Norman talks to Jonathan Pontell about the Genjonesers.