Keywords

Generational Conflict, Youth Frustration, Baby Boomers, Twitter, Topic Modeling, Machine Learning

Abstract

In recent years, the generation has gained importance in the narrative of social change and conflict, as reflected in the spread of digital phenomena such as #OKBoomer, which highlighted the negative perception of this generation by later generations, popularising the term “boomer” as a pejorative adjective. In order to find out whether the use of this term is an expression of conflict and generational vindication, we downloaded more than 600,000 tweets, in Spanish, issued between November 2019 and December 2022, which contained the term “the boomers”. Using supervised machine learning techniques, we quantified the percentage of tweets that, through the use of this term, expressed generational claims or conflicts. Subsequently, we used topic modelling techniques to investigate under which themes these are expressed. We found that, during this period, most of the tweets analysed expressed conflicts and demands, focusing on issues such as material and economic inequality, lack of opportunities to develop a life project and political issues. Everyday generational clashes were also observed, related to digital skills or attitudinal differences. In conclusion, behind the use of the term “boomer”, claims of the younger generations are being expressed in the form of generational conflict, either by blaming the “boomer” generation for their situation or by denouncing the lack of empathy of the “boomer” generation towards them.

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Received: 2023-05-01 | Reviewed: 2023-05-24 | Accepted: 2023-09-01 | Online First: 2024-01-10 | Published: 2024-03-31

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Gago-Rivas., Martín-Gómez., García-Gutiérrez. (2024). Youth Frustration and Intergenerational Conflict on Twitter. Comunicar, 32(78). 10.58262/V32I78.5

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