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Baby Boomers: A Mobile Generation
By Catherine Bonvalet and Jim Ogg
Translated by Krystyna Horko

January 2011, paperback, 254 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-905622-39-9
GEMAS Studies in Social Analysis

Published in association with the Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques (INED)

Hardrback also available. To order the hardback edition click here.


The generation of people born immediately after the Second World War - the baby boomers - have witnessed major transformations in society as well as being at the vanguard of them. Many have challenged traditional attitudes in areas such as work and employment, and adopted new lifestyles driven by consumption and leisure. The baby boomers are a generation on the move, eager to reap the maximum benefits from consumer society, to travel and participate in leisure activities. Today, most of them have passed the midpoint of their lives. After having challenged and transformed many of the staging posts in the life course, how do the baby boomers reflect on their past experiences and what do they anticipate for their remaining years of life?

This book addresses these questions by seeking out their residential and professional trajectories during their adult lives. Through the use of survey data and qualitative interviews with baby boomers living in London and Paris, the authors demonstrate the diversity of the boomer generation—most notably in terms of housing experiences but equally in areas such as work and consumption. The contrasting experiences within the two cities studied provide evidence that is at odds with the commonly accepted view that baby boomers are culturally dominant and have a monopoly of financial wealth. The findings demonstrate the contrasting experiences of the boomer generation in areas such as home ownership, family histories, jobs and careers, differences that also appear along gender and social class lines.

Baby Boomers: A Mobile Generation is important reading for students of sociology, social policy, demography and social gerontology. Written in an accessible style, it should also appeal to members of the general public who themselves are part of this generation.


Authors’ Notes and Acknowledgements
Foreword by Chris Phillipson

CHAPTER 1: The Arrival of the Baby Boomers
CHAPTER 2: Urban Lives
CHAPTER 3: Renting and Buying: The Baby Boomers’ Residential Trajectories
CHAPTER 4: Neighbourhood and Locality
CHAPTER 5: Professional Trajectories and the Transition to Retirement
CHAPTER 6: Mobility and Ageing


About the Authors

Catherine Bonvalet is a demographer and Director of Research at the Institut National d’Etudes
Démographiques, Paris.

Jim Ogg is a sociologist, a fellow of the Young Foundation, London, and a researcher at the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Vieillesse, Paris.

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