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Generation (from the Greek γενεά genea meaning generation or race ), also known as procreation, is the act of producing offspring. In a more generic sense, it can also refer to the act of creating something inanimate such as electrical generation or cryptographic code generation.

A generation can also be a stage or degree in a succession of natural descent as a grandfather, a father, and the father's son comprise three generations.A generation can refer to stages of successive improvement in the development of a technology such as the internal combustion engine, or successive iterations of products with planned obsolescence, such as video game consoles or mobile phones.

In biology, the process by which populations of organisms pass on advantageous traits from generation to generation is known as evolution.

Familial generation

It is important to distinguish between familial and cultural generations. A familial generation is defined as the average time between a mother's first offspring and her daughter's first offspring. The generation length is 25.2 years in the United Statesmarker as of 2007 and 27.4 years in the United Kingdommarker as of 2004.

Cultural generation

Cultural generations are cohorts of people who were born in a certain date range and share a general cultural experience of the world.

The idea of a cultural generation, in the sense that it is used today gained currency in the late 19th century. Prior to that the concept "generation" had generally referred to family relationships, not broader social groupings. In 1863, French lexicographer Emile Littré had defined a generation as, "all men living more or less at the same time."

However, as the 19th century wore on, several trends promoted a new idea of generations, of a society divided into different categories of people based on age. These trends were all related to the process of modernisation, industrialisation, or westernisation, which had been changing the face of Europe since the mid-eighteenth century. One was a change in mentality about time and social change. The increasing prevalence of enlightenment ideas encouraged the idea that society and life were changeable, and that civilisation could progress. This encouraged the equation of youth with social renewal and change. Political rhetoric in the 19th century often focused on the renewing power of youth influenced by movements such as Young Italy, Young Germany, Sturm und Drang, the German Youth Movement, and other romantic movements. By the end of the 19th century European intellectuals were disposed toward thinking of the world in generational terms, and in terms of youth rebellion and emancipation.

Two important contributing factors to the change in mentality were the change in the economic structure of society. Because of the rapid social and economic change, young men particularly, were less beholden to their fathers and family authority than they had been. Greater social and economic mobility allowed them to flout their authority to a much greater extent than had traditionally been possible. Additionally, the skills and wisdom of fathers were often less valuable than they had been due to technological and social change. During this time, the period of time between childhood and adulthood, usually spent at university or in military service, was also increased for many people entering white collar jobs. This category of people was very influential in spreading the ideas of youthful renewal.

Another important factor was the break-down of traditional social and regional identifications. The spread of nationalism and many of the factors that created it (a national press, linguistic homogenisation, public education, suppression of local particularities) encouraged a broader sense of belonging, beyond local affiliations. People thought of themselves increasingly as part of a society, and this encouraged identification with groups beyond the local.

Since then, generations have been defined in many different ways, by different people. Generational claims can often overlap and conflict. Often generational identification has a strongly political implication or connotation.

List of generations

Western world

There have been many conflicting attempts to enumerate the generations of the western world. Here are a few common definitions:







  • The Silent Generation is the generation that includes those who were too young to join the service during World War II. Many had fathers who served in World War I. Generally recognized as the children of the Great Depression, this event during their formative years had a profound impact on this generation.




  • Generation X is the generation generally defined as those born after the baby boom ended,, with earliest birth dates seen used by researchers ranging from 1961 to the latest 1981. They were the first generation with widespread access to television during their formative years. Other names used interchangeably with Generation X are 13th Generation, and Baby Busters.


  • Generation Y is also known as Generation Next or the Millennials. Some sources have Generation Y spanning from the earliest, possibly late 1970s, to the early 1990s. Today, many follow William Strauss and Neil Howe's demographics in defining the Millennials. Respected researchers William Strauss and Neil Howe have been influential in defining American generations in their book Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 (1991) and Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation (2000). They use the start year as 1982 and believe that the coming of age of year 2000 high school graduates sharply contrasts with those born before them and after them due to the attention they received from the media and what influenced them politically.


  • The following Generation, referred to as Generation Z, and various other names, was born between the mid-1990s and end of the 2000s.


Eastern world

  • China: The after-eighty generation (Chinese: 八零后世代 (short form: 八零后) (born-after-1980 generation) (also sometimes called China's Generation Y are those who were born between the year 1980 to 1989 in urban areas of Mainland China. These people are also called "Little Emperors" (or at least the first to be called so) because of the People's Republic of Chinamarker's one-child policy. Growing up in modern China, China’s Gen Y has been characterised by its optimism for the future, newfound excitement for consumerism and entrepreneurship and acceptance of its historic role in transforming modern China into an economic superpower.
  • In South Koreamarker generational cohorts are often defined around the democratization of the country, with various schemes suggested, some names include the democratization generation, 386 generation (also called June 3, 1987 Generation), that witnessed the June uprising, the April 19 generation (that struggled against the Syngman Rhee regime in 1960), the June 3, generation (that struggled against the normalization treaty with Japan in 1964), the 1969 generation (that struggled against the constitutional revision allowing three presidential terms), and shinsedae (new) generation.
  • Indian generations tend to follow a pattern similar to the broad western model, although there are still major differences especially in the older generations. According to one interpretation, Indian independence in 1947 marks a generational shift in India. People born in the 1930s and 40s, tended to be loyal to the new state, and tended to adhere to "traditional" divisions of society. For Indian Boomers, those born after Independence and into the early 1960s, they tended to link success to leaving India, and were more suspicious of traditional societal institutions. Events such as the Indian Emergency made them more sceptical of government. Generation X saw an improvement in India's economy, and are more comfortable with diverse perspectives. Generation Y continues this perspective.


See also



External links



References

  1. [1]
  2. U.S. Census Bureau 2007, Facts for features: Mother's Day, retrieved November 30, 2007.
  3. "More women have a late pregnancy", BBC News, December 17, 2004, retrieved November 30, 2007.
  4. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/29/AR2008022903658_pf.html
  5. Strauss, William & Howe, Neil. Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069. Perennial, 1992 (Reprint). ISBN 0-688-11912-3 p. 324
  6. http://knowledge.emory.edu/article.cfm?articleid=950
  7. http://www.alliancetrends.org/demographics-population.cfm?id=34
  8. http://www.theage.com.au/news/Education-News/Rise-of-the-millennials/2005/05/27/1117129892594.html
  9. http://lifecourse.com/store/catalog/major/gens.html
  10. http://lifecourse.com/store/catalog/major/millennialsRising.html
  11. http://www.alliancetrends.org/demographics-population.cfm?id=34
  12. Rise of the millennials
  13. http://yawiki.org/proc/Generation+Y
  14. http://knowledge.emory.edu/article.cfm?articleid=950
  15. "Sports Celebrity Influence on the Behavioral Intentions of Generation Y" Alan Bush, Craig Martin, Victoria Bush. JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH March 2004. http://journals.cambridge.org/download.php?file=%2FJAR%2FJAR44_01%2FS0021849904040206a.pdf&code=e8f4ae95a930af319ea5e022a6df2e32
  16. Generation Y: They've arrived at work with a new attitude. USA Today. 11/6/2005. http://www.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2005-11-06-gen-y_x.htm
  17. Attracting the twentysomething worker. CNNMoney.com. May 15, 2007. http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2007/05/28/100033934/
  18. Y us? Gen Y feels economic pinch. The Age. Nicola Smith. September 29, 2008. http://www.theage.com.au/national/y-us-gen-y-feels-economic-pinch-20080929-4q5w.html
  19. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/business/media/19mtv.html?_r=1
  20. http://www.lifecourse.com/assets/files/yes_we_can.pdf
  21. http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/special/2008/04/180_18529.html
  22. http://www.eastwestcenter.org/news-center/east-west-wire/shinsedae-conservative-attitudes-of-a-new-generation-in-south-korea-and-the-impact-on-the-korean-presidential-election/
  23. http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/NEWKHSITE/data/html_dir/2009/08/26/200908260078.asp
  24. www.ekoreajournal.net/upload/pdf/PDF4033M
  25. http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/erickson/2009/02/global_generations_focus_on_in.html



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