Eternal Youths: How the Baby Boomers are Having Their Time Again
The baby boomers have always been seen as a deeply symbolic generation - born amid a surge of post-war optimism and reaching adulthood in the 1960s. For many of them, challenging received wisdom is deeply embedded in their own self-image. But one problem in thinking about British baby boomers is that very little original research has addressed them directly. This report takes on the challenge of exploring the hopes and fears of a group of people who may help to reshape the meaning of 'old age'. By talking directly to them in depth, we have tested assumptions about how age, sex, marital status and ethnicity impact on the values of British baby boomers. We have also investigated their attitudes to dying, which if they have their way is likely to become the ultimate consumer service. Some firms are already waking up to the fact that, while youth culture might be 'cool', it is far cooler to profit from the well-heeled baby boomers. But as the baby boomers continue to march towards old age, the financial clout they wield will be less important than the new ways in which they will want to spend their money. The combination of wealth, health and longer life gives them a new phase of life. Baby boomers want to 'have their time again', by chasing personal fulfilment free from the pressures of overwork and childrearing. From middle-aged men and women on motorbikes to new beauty products and treatments and music retailing, the dominance of baby boomers can only grow. This project was produced in partnership with Centrica, the principal funder, and the Saga group.
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