On the Cusp: The History of Coming of Age in a Cusp Generation

Brittany Potts Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Paul Hanson Butler University
The concept of a generation is a major framework in American culture for defining and categorizing groups of people. Generations can act as a way to bring people together with similar life experiences and perspectives. However, generations can do just as much to divide people. The term “generational gap” has come to describe this apparent tension, or perhaps lack of understanding, that exists between generations. Yet, an interesting phenomenon in regard to generations is that of cusp generations. A cusp generation is defined as the individuals who are born at the transition period from the end of one generation to the beginning of the next. The people born during these periods of time tend to portray characteristics of both the generations before and after them, as well as unique characteristics of their own. Because of this, it is possible that these “cuspers”, may serve as a possible bridge to the seemingly indissoluble generational gaps. The purpose of this investigation will be to take a closer look at the cusp generations throughout time. Through the use of primary sources and archival materials, the perspectives of those born in various cusp generations will be analyzed in order to discover the possible similarities and differences with other major generations. Generations are a construct meant to define and categorize people, and therefore, their boundaries are not set in stone. It is possible that those who exist in the middle ground between generations may provide a valuable link to bring people together.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

02:00 PM
Jordan Hall 203