Generation X Professors Speak: Voices from Academia by Elwood Watson
While the Baby Boomer generation has consistently commanded widespread attention—both scholarly and popular—little has been written about Generation X, the 46 million Americans born between the mid-1960s and late 1970s. But with Baby Boomers now moving into retirement, members of Generation X have come to the forefront of American society. Consequently, understanding Generation X—and the potential impact of the independent, sometimes rebellious spirit that characterizes it—is critical.
In Generation X Professors Speak: Voices from Academia, Elwood Watson has assembled a unique collection of thematically arranged essays by academics that offers insights into the issues, conflicts, and triumphs that epitomize this often overlooked generation. One essayist writes about her determination to achieve her career goals without sacrificing time with her family, while another speaks about being a stay-at-home dad and teaching part-time at a university. Another essay covers disabilities, depression, and mental illness, pointing to the sympathetic approach Gen Xers tend to take toward individuals often marginalized by society. The acceptance of interracial marriage on the part of members of Generation X is engagingly presented by an ivy-league educated white man married to a woman of African descent. And the role religion plays in the lives of Gen Xers is movingly expressed by an essayist whose commitment to his spiritual faith have allowed him to combat racial, social, family, personal, and academic issues.
These and the other essays in this collection passionately—and sometime provocatively—cover topics ranging from career, class, family life, health, music, and physical disabilities to race, religion, and sexuality. Together, the essays define the characteristics and demonstrate the diversity of Generation X, and will appeal to scholars, students, and others interested in social history, psychology, gender studies, and popular culture.
Elwood Watson is professor of history, African American studies and gender studies at East Tennessee State University. He is the author and co-author of a number of books and articles, including Outsiders Within: Black Women in the Legal Academy after Brown v. Board (2009), and is a blogger and columnist for Diverse Education, X/Y Online, BlackPast.org, and Your Black World.