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Who Is Generation Jones? A Micro-Generation Between Boomers, Xers

Key Events in the lives of Generation Jones include Watergate.

President Nixon gives his famous “V” sign as he departs the White House for the last time following his Watergate-inspired resignation. | Photo Courtesy of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum

Who Is Generation Jones?

Before Generation X came Generation Jones. This is the micro-generation between Baby Boomers and Generation X that was born during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Read on to learn more about this important generation in American life and politics.

Origin of the Term Generation Jones

If not for Jonathan Pontell there might not be a Generation Jones.  A cultural historian and political consultant, Pontell coined the term around 1999. This was preceded by extensive research, which concluded that a micro-generation existed between Boomers and Xers. Pontell, who was born in 1960, had a primary thesis: While the 1960s may have impacted him and his contemporaries, they were not shaped by the historic events that shaped Baby Boomers. In particular, Vietnam, Woodstock and hippie culture. In other words, Gen-Jones was “wide-eyed” in the 1960s, not “tie-dyed.”

Following a survey of 650 people, Pontell decided upon the name Generation Jones to identify the cohort. It was specifically inspired by the term jonesing, which is an offshoot of “Keeping up with the Joneses.” It essentially means craving or yearning and ultimately honors the desires of people born in the late 1950s and early 1960s who craved a better qualify of life. After all, they came of age and entered adulthood during the mass unemployment of the 1970s and 80s.

In short, Gen-Jonesers jonesed for a better life. They longed for the prosperous days of freedom their elder siblings enjoyed; days before the collapse of American industries.

Eventually, Pontell was featured in a number of news interviews. He also reportedly wrote a book called Generation Jones. In 1999, several newspapers reported that it was being published by Vanguard Press, however, I can’t locate a copy of it anywhere. In April 2014, the Anniston Star, an Alabama newspaper, again reported that Pontell wrote a book called Generation Jones that Random House was publishing. Again, I can’t locate a copy anywhere.

More on the Name

In 2013, Pontell gave an interview to an unknown blogger on the now-dormant site, Anali’s First Amendment. She asked him how he came up with the term and this is part of what he told her:

At a personal level, I never felt like I was part of the Baby Boom Generation, despite what the so-called experts said back then. I remember my social studies teacher quoting one of those experts to my high school class back in the 1970’s, and the class immediately bust out in laughter, because it was so obvious to us that we weren’t part of the Boomer Generation.

I didn’t give it much thought until many years later, when I heard that the “experts” had finally identified our post-Boomer generation, which they were calling Generation X. But when I looked into what they described as Xers, I quickly realized that they had, once again, ignored people my age, because we were no more Xers than we were Boomers.

It was at that point that I realized I was part of a lost generation of Americans, and decided that I would try to arrive at the key common denominators among people my age that made us a cohesive generation, to determine which birth years were the correct boundaries between our generation and the surrounding ones, and to come up with a name which encapsulated our generation…

The name “Generation Jones” came out of a long process which eventually generated around 650 possible names for our cohort…”

Here is an interesting news clip featuring Pontell in the Battle Creek Enquirer.

Found on

What are the years for Generation Jones?

Pontell defined the years for Generations Jones as 1954 to 1964, although some contend the micro-generation doesn’t start until 1957.  Most people agree that Gen Jones ends in 1964. The following year, 1965, marked a sharp decline in the U.S. birth rate, thus ushering in the Baby Bust. (By the way, early Gen-Xers were known as Baby Busters.)

How Important Is Generation Jones to the World?

Generation Jones represents a segment of the U.S. population that is greater than 42 million people. It is an important demographic in elections in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Key political figures born during the Gen Jones years include President Barack Obama (1961) and former Governor Alaska Sarah Palin (1964).

Historic Events, Pop Culture Icons

Several historic events helped to define Generation Jones in youth. They include:

  • Watergate
  • No Nukes March
  • Live-Aid
  • Iranian Hostage Crisis

In addition, here are just some of the pop culture icons most closely associated with Generation Jones. (There are many more I have not listed!) As someone born in the decidedly Gen-X year of 1967, I relate to very few of these icon as generational touchstones. The closer you get to the end of Generation X (1981), the more that is the case. I’m sure the same is true for Boomers, only in reverse.

Television Shows

  • Family Affair, Buffy, Mrs. Beasley
  • The Brady Bunch
  • Josie and the Pussycats (Animated)
  • Partridge Family
  • Room 222
  • Fat Albert
  • Dallas
  • Nanny and the Professor



  • Jackson Five
  • Donny and Marie
  • Sex Pistols
  • David Cassidy
  • Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven
  • 8-Track Tapes
  • Disco
  • Punk
  • Born To Run, Springsteen


  • Banana Seat Choppers
  • Drive-Thrus
  • Walkmans, VCRs, CB Radios
  • Space Invaders, Pong
  • Pop Rocks
  • Wacky Packs


  • Leisure Suits
  • Feathered Hair
  • Mood Rings
  • Adidas

Who is Generation Jones to you?

Are you part of this micro-generation? Share below and let me know. .

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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Who Is Generation Jones: A Micro-Generation Between Boomers, Xers
Article Name
Who Is Generation Jones: A Micro-Generation Between Boomers, Xers
Generation Jones is a subset of Generation X and Baby Boomers. The years fall between both generations. Gen Jones was born 1954-64, after the boom and before the bust.


  1. Diane

    This is very interesting to me. I remember watching the first run TV shows listed as well as the movies (Star Wars is one of my favorites), owned a mood ring and wore my hair feathered back in the day, but I don’t qualify. I was born in 1966.

  2. Don M

    Yep, this generation (I call us the “Brady Bunch Generation” or “Kennedy’s children” (born in the Kennedy era) are Baby Boomers “on paper” but certainly have nothing in common with the Davy Crockett-loving Boomers of the 1940s/50s who had to worry about being drafted to Vietnam, but we also were too old (generally) to be into Grunge or raves with the Gen Xers.
    I don’t really agree with all of the “cultural touchstones” and would add some more–Schoolhouse Rock (in its original incarnation), Elton John, Wacky Packages, ABC After School Specials, and perhaps the first Rocky Horror Picture Show generation.
    Culturally I identify with Gen X now, but they were technically the younger siblings of my cohort.

    • Jennifer

      Don – What year were you born? You really sound like a first-wave Gen-Xer. Schoolhouse Rock is the best qualification I can think of. LOL. I love the touchstones you’ve added here. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Tom D.

      Wacky Packs! I haven’t thought of those for years.

      • Jennifer

        I loved ’em!

  3. Chris Keach

    Totally agree with your article. Some time ago, a group of friends that I went to high school with in the late 70s and I noted that people who came of age between 1977 and 1981 were essentially different from the “labeled generations.” Two things that always struck me about our lost generation were: 1) hippies weren’t my friends, they were my teachers , and 2) chances are that your hair was longer than your girlfriend’s!

    • Jennifer

      Good one about the hair, Chris. That’s spot-on.

    • Barbara Hollings

      Completely agree: Hippies were my teachers as well and yes the hair was longer! Oh I am so glad to know that there is a micro generation as I don’t relate to all the baby boomer generation – 1964!

      • Jennifer

        Thanks for stopping by, Barbara!

  4. Mary

    Yes square. We loved the Jetsons. Bat Man and Robin.
    School Patrol went to DC. We loved bad 80’s music as my dau calls it. Huey Lewis, wine light. Do remember the Beirut Airportwas bombed the day after our Air India flight had been there.
    The Monkey’s pretty tame. We watched all the old reruns when home sick from school. Donna Reid, Father knows best. I remember Jimmy Carter very well. I wanted to be a boy scout (mom was a den mother) because the girls were learning to knit. And my pop wouldn’t let me play baseball, I had to be the cheerleader. I remember very few vaccines. I had a pretty chopper type bicycle with a sparkle violet seat.
    wonderful years.

    • Jennifer

      Some of these things make me feel a little Gen Jones, Mary.I had a sparkle violet banana seat bike, too. I loved that bike and rode it all over Sigman Street in Hacienda Heights, CA, and London Lane in Colorado Springs’s Southboro neighborhood. I also remember few vaccines. But, I remember EVERYONE ONE. I did not like shots! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Theresa Danna

    I have published two articles on LinkedIn about Gen Jones that could add to your knowledge. The first one is at and the follow-up article is at

    I was in touch with Jonathan Pontell a few years ago, and, at that time, he told me his book was not yet finished because it needed a lot of updating.

    • Jennifer

      Thank you, Theresa. Normally, I don’t publish comments with links, but this is a great exception. Thanks so much for sharing these resources. I will read them, soon.

      • jo

        Jennifer — you referenced a book about the generation gap that you found useful. I have scoured your page and somehow cannot find it again. Can you please mention it again?


    • Anonymous

      Makes sense that the book never came out…leaving us yearning for more. LOL.

  6. Rhonda

    Born in “62” I never felt like a “Boomer”. At the same time I didn’t feel like I was that spoiled “Gen Xer” either. It was like a weird time warp watching parents lose their minds over the president , racism, war, and even music. There was a strange holding pattern between allowing girls to wear slacks to school or not and if boys should have to cut their hair above their collars and ears. Our parents didn’t know what to do because all the rules were changing and we were in limbo. Divorce was becoming more common but not the norm and kids were looked down on because of that. The most I knew about the hippie movement was from watching Laugh In. That was pretty cleaned up hippie. We used to play “war” and I always wanted to be a soldier but the boys only let me have the med kit. I relate to all the Gen Jones stuff you talk about. Caught between a Boomer and an X.

    • Jennifer

      That was a rare testimony to being Generation Jones. Thank you. Your comment adds to the thin Generation Jones narrative. I bet many others born during the same years feel very similar to you. The part about playing war really resonated with me. You were the thin slice of KIDS who saw the Vietnam War play out on TV.

  7. Warren Dew

    I was born in 1960. The descriptions of “generation jones” seems pretty alien to me. Vietnam, Woodstock, and the hippie culture were major influences on me and those of my age. In contrast, I’ve never even heard of the “no nukes march” before now.

    I will grant this: I was not myself a hippie; the highly conformist “nonconformity” didn’t appeal to me. I was a “square”. It’s possible there were more squares toward the end of the boom generation, and that was misidentified as a separate generation, but it’s not an accurate depiction.

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