Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Worldwide "Turbulent Decade" (1964 -1974) not dependent on size of local baby boom

Those academics and journalists who persist in relating the intensity of the events of the Turbulent Decade (1964-1974) to the size of a particular nation's baby boom must have a heck of a time contrasting English-speaking Canada with France.

English-speaking Canada had the world's greatest uptick in teenagers and young people over those turbulent ten years while France's long gentle baby boom was still 'making babies' when that decade ended.

And those babies were certainly not out on the streets protesting - certainly not during the famous events of May 1968.

And where was youth-filled English-speaking Canada's equivalent of May 1968 ?

There wasn't any.

Instead the youth of English-speaking Canada enjoyed, with their parents, Expo 67's pride of nationhood.

It was a mood aided and abetted by the fact that tens of thousands of Americans draft dodgers were suddenly fleeing their land of milk and honey for hitherto boring old Canada (!)

It is not that Canada didn't eventually experience a good deal of social turbulence led by its youth - it is just that there is no point in relating its intensity to the "boom" in Canadian babies decades earlier.

More productive, in my mind, is for us all to relate the turbulent decade to the coming of an cohort marked by their place in time, not by their size.

Because 1964 marked the coming of age of the first group in our world who did not (and in fact could not) personally share in 1945's collective mood of modernist triumphalism ...

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