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Generation and Intergenerational Relationships Print
We distinguish generation from cohort, as Mannheim and others do.

Both concepts are relevant for our research. Cohort data say more about structural properties and changes over time while generation refers to the mentality of (young) people who share certain experiences which are bound to events in a certain societal context and which had or have great influence on their interpretation of themselves in relation to the society and the world at large. With their outlook and actions they create a certain time spirit and exert influence on the actions of others, like politicians or artists.

When ideological forces decline, generations are less shaped through – and shape – ideologies, as has been the case (the “68 generation”); the distinction between generation and cohort is less clearly drawn. One might argue that the notion of generation today refers to media and economy which have become main forces in and for the life course of (young) people.

Quite a different meaning is attached to intergenerational relationships; here we deal with acting and reacting of children and young people with their parents or other adults (teachers) and vice versa (see also parenthood; individualisation; family). (MdBR)


Lüscher, Kurt; Pillemer, Karl (1998) Intergenerational ambivalence: A new approach to the study of parent-child relations in later life, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 60: 413-425.

Mannheim, Karl (1964) Das Problem der Generationen (the problem of generations). In K. Mannheim; Wissenssoziologie. Berlin: Luchterhand (509-565).

Becker, H.A. (ed) (1990) Life Histories and Generations. Utrecht: ISOR.

du Bois-Reymond, Manuela (2005) Neue Lernformen – neues Genertionenverhältnis? (New ways of learning – a new relationship between the generations?). In H. Hengst & H. Zeiher (Hrsg.) Kindheit soziologisch. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften (227-244).


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Last Updated ( Monday, 22 May 2006 )

Project supported by funding under the European Union's Sixth Research Framework Programme - Coordinated by IRIS e.V.

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