Generation Jones is a term coined by cultural historian Jonathon Pontell to refer to a group of people, mostly in the US and the UK, born between the years of 1954-1965. Some suggest the end date on Generation Jones is really 1968. This population group would formerly have been classed as either Baby Boomers, especially the oldest members, or as Generation X for the youngest members.
Pontell, and many others claim that the statistical importance of Generation Jones can’t be underestimated. They were the early computer pioneers, and include people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Further, they have a strong tendency to influence elections and they are an extremely valuable market group to advertisers. About a third of Internet users are Generation Jones members, and many of the major corporations and corporate structures of today are due to Gen Jones members, also called Jonesers.
There’s still disparity among this group in terms of political orientation and personal history. The earliest Jonesers would have been either influenced by or directly involved in the sexual revolution. They would remember the assassination of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy. Some would have served in Viet Nam or at least have strong memories of the conflict. Other Jonesers, especially when the end year of Gen Jones is extended out to the late 60s, would have reached maturity in the 1980s and have little to no memory of these events.
The term Joneser comes from the idea of the conspicuous consumption of the 1980s, and the idea of keeping up with the Joneses. The older members of Generation Jones could have been the first Yuppies, and constitute some of the age of excess that the early 1980s represents to historians. There are literally thousands of articles interpreting the importance of Generation Jones in a variety of contexts.
Perhaps most important of these interpretations is predictions based on Gen Jones influence on politics. Older Generation Jones members tend to be more conservative in their politics. Yet the group as a whole is known for being volatile when it comes to politics. They’re more likely to vote for a candidate out of their political party if they want change. Jonesers are thought largely responsible in the US for the election and re-election of President George W. Bush, but also for the 2006 turnaround when voters successfully elected a Democratic majority Senate and House of Representatives.
Since Generation Jones makes up a valuable population in terms of commercial and buying power, advertisers are seeing the group as extremely important and may market to them. In particular the quick development of new technology, the latest cell phone, iPod, or computer is Joneser directed and relies on the idea that these formerly conspicuous consumers still want the latest in technological toys.