This chapter introduces the baby boomer generation and examines why boomers are poised to wield such a significant impact. It begins with a brief historical overview of how and why the baby boomer generation developed. It identifies the social forces that contributed to the birth of the boomer generation, including the Great Depression, World War II, and the expanding economy and optimism about the future in the 1950s. It considers the variations within the boomer generation, including differences in age, sexual identity, and ethnicity. The chapter also discusses how the boomer generation is redefining older adulthood. Along with impressive medical gains in the length of life, boomers are exploring how to improve the quality of life as well.
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