Dr Penelope Robinson has a piece published in today’s smh.com.au!!! 😉
We must be careful not to oversimplify generational difference, but the concept of “generation” can reveal things about our society, past and present. These media-generated categories of generation have the tendency to pigeonhole individuals according to their year of birth, but they are not meaningless.
Sociologist Karl Mannheim, writing in the first half of the 20th century, gives us some pointers about how to think about the concept of “generation” in a more complex way. He argues that major events and political currents of a period come to shape a group of people of a similar age because they experience those moments at the same stage in their life-course. For example, for Gen Y this might be the September 11 attacks in 2001. For Baby Boomers, perhaps it was the Vietnam War; and for their parents, the Great Depression.
This concept can be extended beyond major socio-political events such as wars and recessions to include other important cultural moments and cultural products such as songs, fashions, films or hairstyles. Certain moments of popular culture become so talked about that they come to define the era. In a sense it doesn’t matter whether we loved or loathed a particular celebrity or film or album. What matters is the way these cultural products resonate with us. They are worth investigating and celebrating because they can reveal much about our shared social history and ourselves.
For the full article: Why do we keep banging on about generation?