Two of our members Kellie and Jim Deys invite folks in the NEPCA community to this virtual book launch for a publication they both have forthcoming chapters in. We’re including here the invite, the book description and the abstracts from Kellie & Jim for those that are interested in learning more.
Join this Virtual Book Launch to celebrate this new book Gen X at Middle Age in Popular Culture, published by Lexington Books/Roman Littlefield from 3:00-4:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 8. Easy registration through Eventbrite–just your name and email. Eventbrite Link: https://genxatmiddleageinpopularculture.eventbrite.com
Gen X at Middle Age in Popular Culture, edited by Pam Hollander
Born roughly between 1964 and 1980, Generation X has received much less critical attention than the two generations that precede and follow it: the Baby Boomers and Millennials. This essay collection examines representations of Generation X in contemporary popular culture, including in television, movies, music, and internet sources. Drawing on generational theory, cultural studies theory, race theory, and feminist theory, the essays in this volume consider the past identities of Generation X, relationships with members of younger generations, modern appropriation of Generation X aesthetics, interactions of Generation X members with family, and the existential values of Generation X.
Dr. Kellie Deys’ Chapter: The Aging Dilemma in Forever: Generation X Asks What It Means to Live
The 2018 Amazon Prime series Forever explores the timeless question of the meaning of life. As it details the unfolding relationship of married couple June and Oscar, Forever looks at the realities of long-term monogamy, the individual needs and identities of the partners, and what forever really means. While the show’s themes certainly have universal meaning, the questions of fulfillment, self, and love are told with a particularly Generation X perspective. June’s existential crisis, which boils over when the afterlife appears to be more of the same, reflects the Gen X disconnect from the status quo but the struggle to either find its identity or to be recognized. Forever brings this overarching generational question “Is this all there is?” to a head, with Gen X characters who reimagine what life can mean.
Jim Deys’ chapter: Cobra Kai: Flipping the Script and Finding Intergenerational Balance
Popular culture has a history of repackaging itself with mixed results. Cobra Kai, the YouTube Premium series that first aired in 2018, draws upon the 1984 movie The Karate Kid, which starred Ralph Macchio (Daniel Larusso), Pat Morita (Mr. Myagi), William Zabka (Johnny Lawrence). To the delight of the target audience, Gen X fans of the original film, both original cast members, Machio and Zabka, revive their roles. The series demonstrates how much our formative teenage years inform our later lives. More specifically, the series comments on the 1980s teen years of Gen Xers and their maturity now at late middle-age. What happens to the generation known for shrugging at authority when it becomes the authority?