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Theory and Generation X
Journal of Public Administration Education
  • Gary S. Marshall, University of Nebraska at Omaha
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This special issues section of JPAE provides an opportunity to address the experience of the new generation of MPA students who are often labeled the X Generation. The term Generation X was coined by Coupland (1991); "X" in this case refers to the mathematical symbol for indeterminacy or the unknown. The argument implicit in the moniker is that, while all previous generations had some point of reference that provided them with a social anchor, the current generation does not have such an anchor through which to interpret their social experience. As a result, they are often depicted as "slackers" with little commitment to anything meaningful. Based on my encounters with Generation X students in the classroom, I cannot agree. I do, however, see their mindset and their experience as different from those of mid-career students. In this essay, I discuss the literature addressing Generation X and Generation X students' learning experience as related to theories of organization.

© 1997 NASPAA

Citation Information
Gary S. Marshall. "Theory and Generation X" Journal of Public Administration Education Vol. 3 Iss. 3 (1997) p. 397 - 403
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