Published Papers - Abstract 693

Tavener M, Byles J & Loxton D. Expert perceptions of the popular baby boomer image. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 2014; 334: e31-e35

Aim: This paper explored how gerontology experts described baby boomers, whether they challenged the popular image, and if they provided alternatives to thepopularly reported baby boomer behaviours and characteristics.Methods: Qualitative interviews were conducted with ten experts from different areas across Australia. The interviews were semi-structured and guided by a ‘sense-making’approach to explore the baby boomer construct and identify expert narratives that differed from the popularly tendered image. Results: The majority of experts were identified as baby boomers and made use of phrases associated with the popular baby boomer image, such as ‘cashed up’,‘reinventing retirement’ and ‘sea change’. Lifestyle and wealth were recognised as staple features of the popular image. To a lesser degree, the experts also recognisedalternative characteristics and behaviours, including people with disabilities and those who struggle financially.Conclusions: Experts appeared to identify with the popular baby boomer label, but not necessarily the accompanying stereotypes.