When sociologists and others discuss 'differences' between 'generations' they are generally referring to the generations born and raised in white, 'industrialized, and 'western' society. But what about the other members of generation Y, for example? So many pieces have been written on generation Y's obsession with the smart phone, but clearly not every member of generation Y has a smart phone, or has any knowledge of what a smart phone is. Conceptualizations of generations in the mainstream media tend to be centered on themes of white privilege. 'Baby boomers' in the U.S. are presented as strong middle-classed citizens who worked unionized jobs with paid benefits.
But countless pieces can be read on the 'underclass' of the baby boomer era, of systemic racism, and worldwide, neocolonialism, which all have the effect of erasing the histories of people of color while ignoring the inherent whiteness of 'generations x, y, and z' as theorized by so-called experts. It is important for the sake of inclusion and racial and ethnic group awareness, as well as historical accuracy to cease these illegitimate groupings of random white 'westerners,' and present a narrative that includes the stories of other members of these generations as well.
These unrepresented members will not tell stories about the lack of jobs upon graduating college or their disposable smart phones and laptops, but stories that reflect the price people pay for wanting technological advances, the price of a globalized world and a world whose technology has surpassed the ability to be sustainable, and untold atrocities that continue to happen and often go under-reported, if at all.
In the spirit of Columbus Day, a holiday perpetuating historical inaccuracy in its portrayal of European colonization and complete erasure of the genocide of indigenous people, it is vital to challenge these dominant and harmful narratives for the higher goal of achieving justice for everyone.