Definitions of Generation
- (noun) A group of people who experienced a common historical period.
- (noun) A level in a kinship hierarchy.
- (noun) A group at a similar level in the life course.
Examples of Generation
- Definition 1:
- baby boomer
- Generation X (Gen X)
- Definition 2:
- Definition 3:
- The current generation of university students.
- American English – /jen-uhr-rAY-shuhn/
- British English – /je-nuh-rAY-shuhn/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˌdʒɛnəˈreɪʃ(ə)n/
- British English – /ˌdʒɛnəˈreɪʃn/
- Plural: generations
- A type of age cohort.
- Different generations experience different cohort effects and simultaneously experience longitudinal effects.
- Studying generational differences in people’s worldview help sociologists understand societal and cultural change.
- Type: sandwich generation
- “Language is the cornerstone of every culture. It is the chief vehicle by which people communicate ideas, information, attitudes, and emotions to one another, and it is the principal means by which human beings create culture and transmit it from generation to generation” (Hughes and Kroehler 2008:47).
- “The Baby Boomers are a defining feature of American society and a touchstone for research on aging and the life course. Boomers have embodied many trends, from the sexual revolution to rising women’s workforce participation to changes in intergenerational relationships. While unique for its sheer size, the cohort is also unique for its trajectory. The Baby Boomers came of age during a period of great technological and social innovation. With important implications for family life, their aging is a testing ground for theories of cohort and generation, and it underscores the importance of research on the older population and later life. To review facts well known to sociologists, the Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Their defining feature is the cohort’s size. Much to the surprise of demographers accustomed to the low fertility of the 1930s, the U.S. birth rate remained high for nearly 20 years before it fell to the low levels we know today” (Treas and Marcum 2011:132).
- Family and Kinship Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “generation” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Coupland, Douglas. 1991. Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
- Ingoldsby, Bron B., and Suzanna D. Smith, eds. 2006. Families in Global and Multicultural Perspective. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
- descent group
- extended family
- intergenerational mobility
- intragenerational mobility
- skipped generation family
Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2008. Sociology: The Core. 8th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
Treas, Judith, and Chistopher Steven Marcum. 2011. “Diversity and Family Relations in an Aging Society.” Pp. 131 in Handbook of Sociology of Aging, edited by R. A. Settersten, Jr., and J. L. Angel. New York: Springer.
Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.
Ferrante, Joan. 2011. Seeing Sociology: An Introduction. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Macionis, John, and Kenneth Plummer. 2012. Sociology: A Global Introduction. 4th ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
Morris, Mike. 2012. Concise Dictionary of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Scott, Jacquelyn Thayer, Judith Treas, and Martin Richards, eds. 2007. The Blackwell Companion to the Sociology of Families. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publications.
Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
Cite the Definition of Generation
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “generation.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved March 25, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/generation/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
generation. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/generation/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “generation.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed March 25, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/generation/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“generation.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 25 Mar. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/generation/>.