Not Gen X or a Millennial? Hello, 'Generation Catalano'
'This micro-generation is hard to pin down': Doree Shafrir
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2011 1:15 PM CDT
Jared Leto as Jordan Catalano in a scene from "My So-Called Life."   (YouTube)

(Newser) – Perhaps last week’s Generation X screed didn’t quite ring true to you—but neither did the article about the Millennial Generation that prompted it. If so, you might be a member of “Generation Catalano,” born during the Carter administration and forever stuck between two groups that get far more attention. You “identify with some of Gen X's cynicism and suspicion of authority,” but you’re just a little too young to claim Reality Bites, writes Doree Shafrir in Slate. You “don't yearn for the Organization Man-like conformity that the Millennials seem to crave,” yet neither are you as proudly alienated as Gen X.

Despite the fact that, technically, this group of 30- to 34-year-olds is part of Generation X, Shafrir thinks “Generation Catalano”—referring to Jared Leto’s iconic My So-Called Life character—is a much more fitting title for her micro-generation. Claire Danes’ Angela represents many “Generation Catalano” members, “the girl who doesn't know where exactly she fits in.” Later Millennial-targeted shows, by contrast, feature lead characters who “are convinced that it's not just possible, but expected to be pretty, popular, and go to Brown … much like Millennials themselves.” Generation Catalano, Shafrir concludes, “is never fully comfortable with its place in the world; we wander away from the periphery and back again.” Click for Shafrir's full column.