Baby Boomers and Popular Culture

An Inquiry into America's Most Powerful Generation

by Brian Cogan and Thom Gencarelli, Editors


Civil rights. Women's rights. Anti-war protests. But who are the Baby Boomers now?

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Cover image for Baby Boomers and Popular Culture

November 2014


Pages 423
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/General
  American History/Culture

The Boomers are the generation that changed everything, from economics to politics to popular culture. This book examines the myriad ways and long-reaching consequences of the now fully "grown up" Baby Boomer generation on America.

Once upon a time, the members of the Baby Boomer generation were young, idealistic, and hungry to change the world. And they did create sweeping, irreversible changes throughout American society—but probably not in the ways their younger selves imagined they would. Now that the Boomers are in their late-adult or retirement years, their tremendous legacy can clearly be perceived. In retrospect, the paths the members of this generation took to come to power—and how they came to terms with that power—are also apparent.

This single-volume work supplies a broad yet detailed critical guide to the Boomer Generation, containing essays on key people, moments, and phenomena not only during the Boomers' 1960s heyday but also their extensive influences on American culture decades afterward. The contributors address key topics such as the rise of feminism; Civil Rights; the Vietnam War and the anti-war movement; the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, and rock ‘n roll; gay rights; idealism, narcissism, and materialism; the influence of television on America, and vice versa; and the transition of Boomers from being "Yippies" to "Yuppies." This work is an ideal text for students in undergraduate or graduate courses in television studies, media studies, cultural studies, and American studies; and is highly appropriate as a supplemental text in literature, history, and philosophy surveys.


  • Supplies comprehensive, critical analysis of the legacy of the Boomer Generation that examines the benefits and drawbacks of the enormous changes this generation of Americans instituted
  • Presents accessible but rigorous, scholarly analysis from a broad range of experts in multiple fields
  • Spotlights the ways in which pop culture at large has responded to the Boomers' influence or example—sometimes in vehement opposition and at other times with imitation or flattery
Author Info

Brian Cogan, PhD, is associate professor and chair in the Department of Communications at Molloy College, Rockville Centre, NY. He is the author, coauthor, and coeditor of numerous books, articles, and anthologies on popular culture, music, and the media. His published work includes Greenwood's Encyclopedia of Punk Music and Culture; Encyclopedia of Politics, the Media, and Popular Culture; and Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal Music; as well as Mosh the Polls: Youth Voters, Popular Culture, and Democratic Engagement.

Thom Gencarelli, PhD, is associate professor and the founding chair of the Communication Department at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY. His published works include articles about media literacy/media education, media ecology, popular media and culture (with an emphasis on popular music), and general semantics. He is currently at work on a book about language acquisition and cognitive development. Gencarelli is also a composer and musician with two recorded albums to his credit. He holds a doctorate in media ecology from New York University.



"Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers."Choice

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