FEATURE12 January 2017

Talking about my generation

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Features Impact UK Youth

Attitudes towards generations are shifting, as are thoughts around age-appropriate behaviour and lifestyles. Research from OMD and house51 explores the British public’s preconceptions. By Ian Murray, of house51, and Sarah Gale, of OMD UK


As the euphoria of the London Olympic Games faded and the worst recession for more than 100 years rolled on, Britain underwent a significant change to its society and culture. At OMD UK, we understood that lives were changing fundamentally and recognised that this demanded insight and thought leadership that reached beyond the usual assumptions. 

Each year, Future of Britain, which has been running annually since the post-London Olympics period in 2013, has used the latest research approaches to offer a new perspective on real people’s lives. This year’s phase, The Future of Generations, focused on the generational myths in British society.

In recent decades, attitudes about youth, middle age and the elderly have changed significantly, accompanied by a redrawing of traditional boundaries around age-appropriate behaviour and lifestyles. There are a range of hypotheses about age compression and the blurring of generations: we hear about kids growing up faster; young adults enjoying an extended adolescence and being reluctant to ...