ERIC Number: ED043050
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970
Reference Count: 0
Concepts of Generation: Definitions and Issues.
Troll, Lillian E.
There seem to be at least five separate concepts of generation currently in use: (1) developmental stage; (2) ranked descent; (3) age homogeneous group; (4) time span; and (5) "spirit of the age." The last concept differs from the first four because it refers to content rather than structure. Most current writings use this last definition. Most of the issues of generation center around the three respective social systems of the individual, the family, and the society. For the individual, his generation is part of his identity. The greatest differentiation of generations is probably seen within the family. Each rank of descent and each developmental stage is likely to be recognized. In society, there may be only two significant generations: those who are not full members of society and those who are. The study of generation gap can be clarified by considering two dimensions. The first is the amount of transmission of culture. The second is the amount of effort needed to negotiate the gap or the amount of conflict involved in the transition. By combining these two dimensions, we get four types of generation gap situations, ranging from the most serene to the most explosive. It is more important to know which of these four is most probable than to ask whether there is or is not a gap. (SJ)
Descriptors: Culture Conflict, Family (Sociological Unit), Family Structure, Generation Gap, Identification (Psychology), Individual Development, Parent Child Relationship, Personality, Social Problems, Social Structure
Lillian E. Troll, Department of Psychology, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan 48202. (No price is quoted.)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Merrill-Palmer Inst., Detroit, MI.; Wayne State Univ., Detroit, MI.