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The MTV Generation is a term describing a generation gap or sub-generation that includes the end of the Generation X (a generation following the post-World War II baby boom, especially Americans and Canadians born in the 1960s and 1970s) yet importantly includes the elders of Generation Y (a generation considered to follow Generation X from 1975 onwards). It is one of the only bridges between the Consciousness Revolution era (into which the MTV Generation would be the last to be born) and the starting point of the Culture Wars era in which the major part of Generation Y would be born.
However, the offspring of those who were born from parents of the baby boomers Generation in the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s who do not necessarily fit in to Generation X's overview are considered to be a generation within itself - namely Generation XY often referred to under several known names by the media and society as the Cold Generation Y (Early Y Partition), The No Generation or MTV Generation , (also the definitive term: Thatcher's Children and Cold War Babies) which could be considered to have been between 1974 and 1985. It can also be observed that the MTV Generation is a term used in order to define those who partake in both Generation X and Y - being that today's media targets the youth of tomorrow. The worldwide acknowledgment of an MTV Generation has been proven through the success of MTV and its by-products on a global scale as well as its influence upon youth culture and society throughout the 1990s. The term defines a generation of teenagers and young adults or Twixters influenced by fashion trends, music, and slang terms shown in music videos on the newly created cable channel MTV. MTV Generation has often been associated as a neologism for Generation X.
 XY Cusp
The XY Cusp includes those people born in the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s. The word XY is used because their generational identity is mixed, uncertain, or deviant from X or Y or both, but do not constitute a separate generational group in themselves. Some place the years between: 1976-1983    and 1976-88 . However, both sources agree on the mid-to-late 70s and early 80s. People born within this group are in parallel situations with people born in between previous generations: Generation Jones between Boomer and X - late 50s, early 60s, (teens of the 70s); between Silents and Boomers - late 30s, early 40s (teens of the 50s); and the Beat generation between G.I. and Silents - late 10s, early 20s (teens of the 30s). They are referred to as Cusper Groups, Transitional Times, or Buffer Zones. John Losey states "If you couldn't neatly place yourself in any of the [generations], then you're probably a Cusper. 1943-1947, 1962-1967 and 1976-1983 are each considered transition times. Many people born during these cusp periods identify with the generations on either side. Often, Cuspers feel like they belong to neither and belong to both. They are generationally bilingual. They can act as translators and ambassadors between the generations."    There is also a strong sense of disillusionment within this generation as they come into their own, especially entering the work force and studies, which is if anything a possible reiteration of the previous Lost Generation to which the MTV generation could be comparable to.
 Global factors defining the MTV Generation
Most notable factors relevant to the MTV Generation is the overall nihilistic attitude of the teenagers growing up through the 1990s having been brought up in the 1980s and recently becoming adults of the 3rd millennium, as well as
- The launch of MTV in its early period before its mid-1990s makeover for predominantly pop music, rhythm and blues, hip hop culture and reality television. The popular tagline: "I want my MTV"--uttered by Veejays and performers on the network's advertisements and later included in the Dire Straits' Money for Nothing track--reflected the era's fascination with the new medium.
- The fall of the Berlin Wall.
- The First Gulf War.
- The Waco Siege.
- The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, with its vague associations with Bushido, white rap, and surf slang. Interest in some of the Asian martial arts (including, of course, Ninjutsu) temporarily spiked among teenagers in some areas due to the franchise's influence.
- Madonna and Michael Jackson (The Like A Prayer & Dangerous years), as well as Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
- The Brat Pack throughout their adult years.
- The introduction of the Nintendo and Atari gaming systems.
- The premierships of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev and the presidency of Ronald Reagan succeeded later by George H. W. Bush.
- The worldwide popularity of The Simpsons.
- The second generation to mostly be influenced through Television (especially Music Television) as the primary medium for information and entertainment (the first being the baby boom generation crossing over to the early Generation X - when TV came into becoming an item in every household during the 1950s) especially from children growing up in the 1980s to their teens in the 1990s.
- Creation of Carmen Sandiego character and games, TV shows.
- The Goonies franchise.
- The end of the Cold War and break up of the Soviet Union.
- The re-invented Dream Date Barbie doll, G.I. Joe: Action Force and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures.
- Transformers, M.A.S.K., Masters of the Universe and other toyline (franchises) centered around the primary theme of alien/high tech/supernatural combat occurring at large in a disguised form, but also containing strong modernist/morally absolutist themes which have been more recently removed in revised versions of these fictional scenarios.
- The Cabbage Patch Kids and Garbage Pail Kids craze of the late 80s.
- The Neverending Story franchise.
- The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin and associated merchandise for Teddy Ruxpin and Grubby.
- The acting careers of Macaulay Culkin and Michael J. Fox.
- The release of Nelson Mandela and end of Apartheid in South Africa.
- The launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.
- Educational software released by MECC such as the Oregon Trail and Number Munchers computer games.
- The last generation to appreciate its significance in a changing culture, specifically the shift from the hardwired, analogue technologies to the wireless, Digital Revolution; examples such as semi-obsolete items of the pre-digital era such as VHS tapes, audio cassetes and vinyl records.
 Culture (political and social)
This generation was also the first to experience:
- The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
- The mass murder/suicide of People's Temple cult members in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978.
- June 18, 1981, the official date for the beginning of the AIDS epidemic and the 1985 World Health Organization AIDS surveillance case definition.
- The assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II in 1981.
- The Satanic ritual abuse panic throughout the 1980s and up to the mid 1990s, bringing Satanism back into the mass media's eye.
- The Iran-Contra Affair, a mid-1980s political scandal in the United States involving President Ronald Reagan's administration who sold arms to Iran, an avowed enemy. At the time, Americans were being held hostage in Lebanon by Hezbollah, a militant Shi'a organization loyal to Ayatollah Khomeini.
- 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion and Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant disaster.
- The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.
- The fall of the Berlin Wall November 9, 1989 and German reunification on October 3, 1990. - One of the two major moments to define the MTV Generation.
The distinct end of Generation X.
- The Invasion of Panama that deposed Manuel Noriega in December 1989.
- In 1989, Czechoslovakia became a democratic country again through the Velvet revolution. In 1992, the federal parliament decided to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, as of January 1, 1993.
- Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster prison, near Cape Town, South Africa February 11, 1990.
- July 20, 1990, London Stock Exchange, the IRA exploded a large bomb at the London Stock Exchange causing massive damage.
- The Gulf War in 1991. - The war that truly defined the MTV Generation, just as the Vietnam War defined Generation X and the Iraq War define Generation Y.
- The fall of the Soviet Union, and beginning of "New World Order" July 1991 marking the end of the Cold War since 1941 between the United States and Soviet Union. - The second of the two most important moments in defining Generation XY.
- November 22, 1990, at just after 9.30 am, Mrs. Margaret Thatcher announced to her cabinet that she would not be a candidate in the second ballot of the vote to determine the leader of the British Conservative Party, thereby bringing her term of office as Prime Minister to an end.
- The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ceases to exist. Slovenia and Croatia gain independence January 15, 1992
- Signing of the Maastricht treaty, which founded the European Union February 7, 1992.
- In eastern Turkey, an earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale kills over 500 March 13, 1992.
- The siege of Ruby Ridge, Idaho by U.S. Marshalls against Randy Weaver during August 1992.
- Bill Clinton defeats George H. W. Bush and Ross Perot in the U.S. presidential election, 1992, November 3.
- 1993 confrontation between U.S. federal agents and the Branch Davidians - Siege of Waco.
- Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana, is found dead April 8, 1994, in Seattle, Washington. He had apparently committed suicide three days earlier. - A death that marked the MTV Generation as opposed to Jim Morrison for Generation X and Elvis Presley for the baby boomers.
- May 1, 1994, Formula One driver Ayrton Senna is killed during the San Marino Grand Prix.
- Brazil wins the 1994 Football World Cup which is held in the USA.
- The assassination of Yitzhak Rabin by Yigal Amir on November 4, 1995, after attending a rally promoting the Oslo process at Tel Aviv's Kings of Israel Square (which was renamed to Yitzhak Rabin Square after his death).
- The Dunblane massacre occurring at a primary school in the small town of Dunblane in central Scotland on Wednesday, 13 March 1996.
- September 7, 1996 Tupac Shakur was fatally shot in a drive-by shooting. This was later followed by the murder of Christopher Wallace aka The Notorious B.I.G. who was shot and killed in Los Angeles on March 9, 1997 - resulting in the end of the Hip hop rivalries between East Coast's Bad Boy Records and the West Coast's Death Row Records.
- The end of British sovereignty over Hong Kong July 1, 1997.
- On July 10, 1997, the Joe Camel campaign was retired and replaced with a more adult campaign, thus ending the use of the famed Camel Cigarettes mascot advertising that cigarettes were "cool to smoke".
Crossover with beginning of "true" Generation Y:
- The international one hit wonder song, Macarena by Los Del Rio became a worldwide summer hit in 1996 until the end of 1997.
- The Yugoslav wars, a series of violent conflicts in the territory of the former Yugoslavia that took place between (1991-2001) - including the Bosnian War.
- Thirty-nine bodies found in Heaven's Gate cult suicide March 26, 1997 - coinciding with the comet Hale-Bopp.
- Diana, Princess of Wales is taken to a hospital after a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, August 31, 1997. She is pronounced dead at 4:00 the next morning followed on September 3 by the death of Mother Teresa.
- The Jonesboro school massacre occurring on Tuesday, March 24, 1998.
- The Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1998, followed by Bill Clinton's impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives.
- The Matrix, a science-fiction / action film with wide cultural influence that was released on March 31st, 1999.
- The Columbine High School massacre occurring on Tuesday, April 20, 1999. This may tie in with the above point, as some have speculated that the Columbine Massacre was inspired by the Lobby Scene, a famous scene which occurs late in The Matrix.
- The premonition of the Y2K problem occurring in 2000 12:00 AM, January 1, New Year's Eve, and resulting fears about the coming 'Millennium'.
 Overview of the cultural impact of the media upon the MTV Generation
The teens of the MTV Generation who grew up in the 1990s have also been referred to as the Doom Generation, picked up from Gregg Araki's The Doom Generation (1995) and due to the popularity of the 1993 computer game Doom. The meaning also represents the overall feeling of the generation, having been children through most of the revolutionary changes that occurred to Generation X, not to mention living their childhood through the 1980s they had no sense of direction or sentiment of belonging, thus encapsulating an entire generation within a "doomed" atmosphere - giving the re-birth into the Goth, Gangsta Rap and Grunge music and lifestyle.
Those born before 1985 witnessed the major movie stars such as Johnny Depp get their starts on television. In Depp's case it was 21 Jump Street. Others such as Jim Carrey, Jamie Foxx, and The Wayans Brothers got their start on In Living Color, a series that tried to rival Saturday Night Live in the early '90s. Generation MTV fans of Saturday Night Live will also remember the careers of Adam Sandler, Janeane Garofalo, Rob Schneider, David Spade, Chris Farley, Phil Hartman, Norm Macdonald, and a whole host of others.
Those born prior to 1985 can also remember the early stages of the World Wide Web - including the first original chat applications such as ICQ and Yahoo! (one of the pioneering "dotcoms" in the 1990s) along with AltaVista being the first major search engines. Those born in the late 1970s probably did not own a computer until their preteen or teen years in the early to mid Nineties. Other aspects of the Internet which were first encountered were the first homepage web host services Angelfire, Geocities, and Tripod, as well as web groups and online communities - such as those in the Excite internet portal.
A notable quote of the Simpsons in regards to the generation that defined itself through TV and music:
- Bart Simpson: Nothing you say can upset us. We're the MTV generation.
- Lisa Simpson: We feel neither highs or lows.
- Homer Simpson: Really? What's it like?
- Lisa Simpson: Meh. [shrugs] 
 Movies associated with the generation
Director Harmony Korine not only grew up in the generation but also emulates it within his movies which reflect the youth and lifestyle of the XY Generation. Other directors that were prominent icons during the generation would be Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Kevin Smith, Richard Linklater, Wes Anderson, Danny Boyle, David Fincher, and Spike Jonze to name but a few who marked their influence upon those growing up in the XY Cusp.
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
- Porky's (1982)
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
- The Outsiders (1983)
- Strange Brew (1983)
- The Karate Kid (1984)
- The Terminator (1984)
- Sixteen Candles (1984)
- Revenge of the Nerds (1984)
- The Breakfast Club (1985)
- Teen Wolf (1985)
- The Goonies (1985)
- Weird Science (1985)
- Back to the Future (1985)
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
- About Last Night (1986)
- Stand by Me (1986)
- Labyrinth (1986)
- River's Edge (1986)
- The Monster Squad (1987)
- Who's That Girl? (1987)
- The Lost Boys (1987)
- Dirty Dancing (1987)
- Baby Boom (1987)
- Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
- Mannequin (1987)
- Akira (1988) anime
- Die Hard (1988)
- Running On Empty (1988)
- The Naked Gun (1988)
- Twins (1988)
- Young Guns (1988)
- Dead Poets Society (1989)
- The Wizard (1989)
- Gleaming the Cube (1989)
- The 'Burbs (1989)
- Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
- Weekend at Bernie's (1989)
- Look Who's Talking (1989)
- Heathers (1989)
- Pump Up The Volume" (1990)
- Wild At Heart (1990)
- Home Alone (1990)
- Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990)
- Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)
- The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991)
- Hot Shots! (1991)
- Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991)
- Boyz N the Hood (1991)
- Slacker (1991)
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
- Singles (1992)
- Juice (1992)
- Wayne's World (1992)
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
- Encino Man (1992)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
- The Sandlot (1993)
- Wayne's World 2 (1993)
- Point of No Return (1993)
- Menace II Society (1993)
- Dazed And Confused (1993)
- Poetic Justice (1993)
- Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993)
- Gregg Araki's Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy:
- Clerks. (1994)
- Reality Bites (1994)
- Above the Rim (1994)
- Léon (1994)
- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
- The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994)
- The Crow (1994)
- Dangerous Minds (1995)
- Hackers (1995)
- Clueless (1995)
- Friday (1995)
- Empire Records (1995)
- Kids (1995)
- The Craft (1996)
- Trainspotting (1996)
- Great Expectations (1998)
- Human Traffic (1999)
- Fightclub (1999)
- High Fidelity (2000)
- American Psycho (2000)
- Ken Park (2002)
- Party Monster (2003)
Other movies to have somewhat of an impact upon the generation with lasting effect would be the successes of the Indiana Jones films, the franchises of both the Ghostbusters and the Gremlins and the Back to the Future trilogy, as well as movies such as Tim Burton's Beetlejuice and Batman, James Cameron's Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park, Interview with the Vampire and Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula.
Actors who gained considerable prominence throughout the 80s and 90s would later become the A-list celebrities in a post-millennial Generation Y, along with others associated or part of the Brat Pack:
- Kevin Bacon
- Matthew Broderick
- Tom Cruise
- John Cusack
- Johnny Depp
- Matt Dillon
- James Duval
- Emilio Estevez
- Richard Gere
- Demi Moore
- Judd Nelson
- Sean Penn
- Brad Pitt
- Keanu Reeves
- Molly Ringwald
- Julia Roberts
- Winona Ryder
- Christian Slater
as well as:
who gained wider recognition from international and independent cinema.
Other actors would later gain more substantial credibility after the Millennium by leaving film to star in TV shows instead, like Shannen Doherty, who starred in Beverly Hills 90210 and later Charmed, Michael J. Fox in Spin City, Charlie Sheen replacing Michael J. Fox in Spin City, Judd Nelson from the "Breakfast Club" in "Suddenly Susan" and Kiefer Sutherland in 24.
Prominent child actors who would enjoy a successful career up until their teenage years were:
- River Phoenix
- Corey Feldman
- Macaulay Culkin
- Elijah Wood
- Christina Ricci
- Edward Furlong
- Anna Chlumsky
 TV shows that are often associated to the generation
The following list are a sample of televised animated series and sitcoms from the early 80s to late 90s that were popular components in the development of those growing up within the XY Cusp, which would influence a later younger generation and the future current fashion in media and society.
Notable cartoons as well as programs that most of the MTV Gen youth grew up with watching:
- The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show (1983-1985)
- Alvin and the Chipmunks (1983-1991)
- Transformers (1984-1987)
- He-Man (1983-1985)
- The DJ Kat Show (1985-1995)
- G.I. Joe (1985-1986 & 1990-1992)
- Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986-1991)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-1996)
- Garfield and Friends (1988-1995)
- Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (1991-1996)
Also check Animated television series of the 1980s for more examples.
Other shows which would be prominent favourites amongst adolescents and the young adult bracket:
TV shows which would have somewhat of an impact on the teen culture and life of the adolescents of the MTV Gen:
- Family Ties (1982-1989)
- The Cosby Show (1984-1992)
- Growing Pains (1985-1992)
- ALF (1986-1990)
- Full House (1987-1995)
- The Wonder Years (1988-1993)
- Saved by the Bell (1989-1993)
- Parker Lewis Can't Lose (1990-1993)
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-1996)
- Boy Meets World (1993-2000)
TV shows which had a greater impact upon the MTV Gen young adults:
- 21 Jump Street (1987-1991)
- Married... with Children (1987-1997)
- Tales from the Crypt (1989-1996)
- Baywatch (1989-2001)
- Seinfeld (1989-1998)
- Beverly Hills 90210 (1990-2000)
- The Real World (1992-present)
- The X-Files (1993-2002)
- Friends (1994-2004)
- MTV's Singled Out (1995-1998)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Other TV shows that were a cult success with MTV Gen audiences:
- Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
- My So Called Life (1994)
- Weird Science (1994-1997)
- Buzzkill (1995)
- Æon Flux (1995)
- Daria (1997-2001)
 Music associated with the generation
The majority of music from the MTV Generation was contributed from artists who were from Generation X, just as previous esteemed musicians of Generation X were born in the baby boomers generation. Generation XY not only shares certain views as those in Generation X, but also the same musical taste which would later cross-over into the MTV Generation due to the effects of Generation X upon the Gen X'er musicians and artists.
The music that defined the MTV Generation was mostly pop music which had emerged from New Wave and R'n'B styles, giving birth to the Boy Band phenomenon (which would later become the Girl Power or Girl Band sensation in the later generation). Another important area was the birth of Alternative Rock branching off from heavy metal musicians Guns N' Roses and alternative performers such as Nine Inch Nails & The Smashing Pumpkins with the added influence of grunge music, which at the time featured prominent artists such as Nirvana and Pearl Jam who would mark a new form of rock music for the future generation. The underground hip hop scene would also eventually develop into the gangsta rap genre which included different styles between the East Coast (The Notorious B.I.G. & Puff Daddy) and West Coast (2Pac, Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg) labels. Dance Music including House and Techno also included itself as an important factor to the development of music during this time, and it would also enter a new domain by opening up the Rave sub-culture which is considered to have truly lasted until the fall of the 1990s. Video game music also became a popular musical influence throughout the 90s with the aid of the Internet and the growth of the Geek sub-culture. .
Later the musical styles and interests that were passed on from Generation X, through to the MTV Generation would be abandoned for a new saccharin and cleaner-cut style of music which would be prominent upon those in Generation Y. The major contributors that would lead the way from the MTV Generation into Generation Y would be:
- Backstreet Boys
- Britney Spears
- Spice Girls
- Limp Bizkit
- Jennifer Lopez
- Ricky Martin
- Christina Aguilera
- Fat Boy Slim
- Paul Oakenfold
 Influential Music of the MTV Generation
Barbara Schneider and David Stevenson, in their research of 90s teens in comparison to 50s teens, noted that "in the 1950s, tastes in music were similar; nearly half the adolescents selected rock and roll as their favorite type of music, and Pat Boone was the favorite singer, easily surpassing all others, including Elvis Presley... (In the 1990s) the types of music (teens) listen to...became so long that we quickly realized that variation was the norm. Students talked about many different types of music, including alternative, country, hard rock, hip-hop, light rock, jazz, reggae, rap, and rhythm and blues, and the list of favorite vocalists and bands numbered well over fifty, with a few overlapping choices."
Important icons of the above genres who would continue to become an influence into Generation Y and were prominent throughout the 80s and 90s (some of which are still today), especially on MTV and in popular culture.
 Technology/Media experienced by the generation
This generation used or witnessed the following technology from their teenage years (born during the 70s) and preteen years (born early 80s):
- Launch of CNN allowing access to world news (1980), and MTV entering a new era with the Music Video culture (1981).
- The development from the 8-bit era with the launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega Master System and Atari 7800, into a new 16-bit era: SNES, Sega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis and Neo-Geo.
- The Internet from its process into a prolific and developed form (1990s).
- PCs and the Power Macintosh with modern operating systems and GUIs (1990s onwards).
- Sophisticated computer graphics in many video games, animated movies and television shows (mid to late 1990s).
- Cellular phones (1980s and beyond).
- MP3s, file-sharing and Napster before it was shut-down (late 1990s).
- ICQ and other Instant messaging applications that would later follow (early 1990s and onwards).
- VHS tapes, Audio cassettes which would later be replaced by CDs (mid 80s), the Minidisc (mid 1990s), and the CD-R (1994).
The MTV Generation unlike the core Generation Y and core Generation X were caught in the middle of a surge in media and technological advances which would later prevail towards the end of the millennium for Generation Y. Partakers of this generation will recall libraries still using index cards for looking up books, how writing letters and corresponding with pen pals and mail-by-order books/comics were fashionable, as well as communication via telephone landlines, prior to the mobile phone phenomenon of the mid 90s. Also most people partaking within the MTV Generation will remember having personal computers as a child without an internet connection, along with the rise of hip hop musical styles within pop music and fall of rock and roll and metal, justified by the cancellation of Headbangers Ball in 1995.
 The Doomed Generation
An overview of the crime and drug culture related to the XY Gen throughout the 1990s with added insight on the media antagonism that developed from these trends of the MTV Gen youth.
 Crime in the 1990s
This generation was the subject of much concern during the 1990s, though, despite some of its positive features. The 1999 Columbine High School shooting, youth participation in street gangs, hate groups, and problems such as teen pregnancy fueled a wave of action by schools and other organizations.
 An ambitious generation of drifting dreamers
Barbara Schneider and David Stevenson, in their book, The Ambitious Generation: America's Teenagers, Motivated but Directionless acknowledged that popular media had portrayed 90s teens as "slackers, drug users, and perpetrators of violent crimes." However, after conducting extensive research on the subject, and analyzing data from national longitudinal studies from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s using the Alfred P. Sloan Study of Youth and Social Development, they discovered that media's portrayal was far from the truth. They found instead, "The overwhelming majority of (1990s) teenagers, however, graduate from highschool, do not use hard drugs, are not criminals, and do not father or have babies while still in their teens. Many of them are willing to work hard to get good grades and assume this will make them eligible for scholarships at the college they plan to attend. Most young people are worried about their futures and believe attaining a college degree is critical for finding a first real job. The bachelor's degree is seen as the necessary first step in moving up the economic and social ladder. Many consider graduate and professional degrees essential."
"Although very ambitious, many adolescents find it very difficult to fulfill their dreams. They are unaware of steps they can take that may help them achieve their ambitions. Often their ambitions are dreamlike and not realistically connected to specific educational and career paths. Regardless of how hard they try, they may find themselves "running in place and unsure where to go."" The authors described 1990s teens as "Drifting Dreamers." More importantly, they found that "large numbers of them expect to become physicians, lawyers, and business managers (white collar workers); few want to work as machinists, secretaries, or plumbers. Such high ambitions are held by teenagers from all families—rich, poor, Asian, black, Hispanic, and white. More adolescents than ever expect to graduate from college, earn graduate degrees, and work in the whitecollar world of professionals. They are America's most ambitious teenage generation ever." Hence, they coined the name "Ambitious generation."
Another important finding was the comparison of social structure between 1950s teens and 1990s teens. Teenage social groups of the 90s were in contrast to 1950s "very fluid in their membership (not permanent or definable) and, as a result, (were) often un-stable." This fluidity, in turn, "weakened their ability to sustain strong norms that can influence and direct the behavior of (teens)." In addition, he stressed that even though parents and the school helped students get good grades and stay in college, they were unsure on how to give advice in realistically planning ones career, leaving many teens to guess on what to do or to be lost in their dreams of achieving success. All of these compounded and contributed more to the XYer "Drifting Dreamer" problem. 
 Impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks
Shortly after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the twin towers, Newsweek performed a survey on young adults ages 18-29 (born 1972-1983) . The survey was done in an effort to compare the views of the 2001 attacks with those of the Attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 and with the Protests against the Vietnam War of 1966. Their findings led them to name young adults of the time "Generation 9/11" due to their civic involvement and political awareness, leading many to believe that this group of people were less like the Vietnam protesters and more like the pro-war patriotic GI Generation  . This reasoning, however, found many critics. Thomas Reissmann stated that "the tone of the times" was such that "any criticism of the government was outright unpatriotic." Fear from hate groups or punishment directly from the government was so real that those people opposed to war silenced themselves, and any survey done during this time would have been biased towards pro-war feelings. As a result, the anti-war sentiment was still very much alive, but they went about expressing it differently than the Vietnam protesters of 1966. Instead of applying themselves towards the war, anti-war advocates chose careers or activities which "improve(d) the lives of others."  This does not negate the fact that other people were supportive of the war, but only proves that anti-war sentiment was also existent at the time, though not as vocal. Outside America, however, the opposition was much more visible and stronger.
Thomas Reissmann also criticized the Newsweek's use of term "Generation 9/11" because it was suspected that the term was used to support an "us" (a Pro-war Generation) versus "them" (a common enemy) mentality. Any young adult who did not believe in or forever commit to the traits of Generation 9/11 would be made to feel guilty and counterproductive towards or undermining society. 
A study was done throughout several colleges in the Midwestern United States by Patricia Somers and her research colleagues on people born from 1978 to 1987 also shortly after the attacks. The survey was conducted in order to research views of "Generation 9/11" towards the "us" versus "them" mentality, also known as Terror management theory.
The results were somewhat mixed, but showed that the mentality had not fully taken hold. Those surveyed chose to mute their expression of patriotism because they viewed the act with skepticism (as they thought it would lead to blind hate and racial discrimination). They placed importance on global awareness, community discussions of diversity, and peace marches. "Students were also more likely to be critical of government action. Perhaps some of the criticism hid fear of how young men and women might be drafted to serve in a messy and prolonged conflict in the Middle East. Yet and still, the students questioned military and political reactions following 9/11." 
However, despite all the research, Somers still believes that the term Generation 9/11  is still a prediction at best and that only time will tell whether 9/11 has had any lasting effect on this group of people. It may not be for decades to determine whether or not they are a "civic" or "lost" group. However, Somers does predict stronger political divisions in the future based on differing opinions about the meaning of "patriotism."  Others believe that the effects of 9/11 would only be temporary as many were already young adults then, and that they would eventually return to their regular ways of life they were accustomed to.    
 Notable members of this generation
- Ryan Phillippe (born on September 10, 1974)
- Drew Barrymore (born February 22, 1975)
- Zach Braff (born April 6, 1975)
- Jamie Oliver (born May 27, 1975)
- Tobey Maguire (born June 27, 1975)
- Nelly (born November 2, 1975)
- Reese Witherspoon (born March 22, 1976)
- Fred Savage (born July 9, 1976)
- Soleil Moon Frye (born August 6, 1976)
- Seann William Scott (born October 3, 1976)
- Alicia Silverstone (born October 4, 1976)
- Jaleel White (born November 27, 1976)
- Shakira (born February 2, 1977)
- Sarah Michelle Gellar (born April 14, 1977)
- Liv Tyler (born on July 1st, 1977)
- Ashton Kutcher (born February 7, 1978)
- Kenan Thompson (born May 10, 1978)
- Kel Mitchell (born August 25, 1978)
- Vanessa-Mae (born October 27, 1978)
- Aaliyah (January 16, 1979)
- Tatyana Ali (born January 24, 1979)
- Claire Danes (born on April 12, 1979)
- Macaulay Culkin (born August 26, 1980)
- Shawn Fanning (born November 22, 1980)
- Christina Aguilera (born December 18, 1980)
- Elijah Wood (born January 28, 1981)
- Justin Timberlake (born January 31, 1981)
- Paris Hilton (born February 17, 1981)
- Anna Kournikova (born June 7, 1981)
- Natalie Portman (born June 9, 1981)
- Britney Spears (born December 2, 1981)
- Kirsten Dunst (born April 30, 1982)
- Lacey Chabert (born September 30, 1982)
- Michelle Branch (born July 2, 1983)
 See also
 External links
- MTV fried my brain - article that discusses how the "MTV generation seemingly began with the network's initial incarnation and still appears to exist to this very day."
- Gen (X+Y) + WTC =? - coming of age in a time of cataclysm.
- MTV Generation
- MTV/Generation X - article relating to Generation X
- Gen X meets MTV Gen - another article on a different perspective between Gen X and the MTV Gen.
- Are you a child of the MTV Generation? - essay relating Generation Y to the MTV Gen.
- Births per year in the US - Census of births per year in the "All Races" column. 1975-85 is on the first page.
- XY Cusp -  
- Boomer/Xer cusp - 
- Silent/Boomer Cusp -   
- MTV And Music: Too Much Power? - by Will Edgcumbe, from Truth Magazine
c. 1954 – c. 1965
c. 1974 – c. 1985
Echo Boom Generation
c. 1986 – c. 1993