Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Sociology, generations.  ---  .This section is about generations.  ---  1/24/2006

Sociology, generations.  ---  (1) Generational thinking is an easy story, a compelling story and an easy sell.  Generational thinking is convenient for the media.  (2) People are hungry for an identity.  People want to be told who they are and what to believe.  Generational thinking is an easy identity to take on.  (3) People want to differentiate themselves.  People want to feel unique and special.  Generational thinking helps both oldsters and youngsters set themselves apart.  ---  7/18/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  (1) Is every generation (A) Hipper than their parents, period?  (B) Or do we become unhip with age?  (C) Or does youth have a false sense of hipness?  (2) Do we "mind" differently from those in the past?  Is this difference due to technological influence on society and then on psychology?  Is it a difference of type or degree?  Is it due to more people being better off psychologically (healthier, smarter, less repressed)?  ---  05/30/1994

Sociology, generations.  ---  Another argument against "generation" thinking.  The saying "There is nothing new under the sun".  We all face the same basic problems such as raising kids, keeping peace and achieving justice.  The young and old have more in common than they have differences.  ---  7/18/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  Arguments against "generation" thinking.  (1) Time is an artificial construct.  Thus, generations is also an artificial construct.  (2) Physical (body) age vs. mental (maturity) age vs. actual (years) age are three different concepts.  Many oldsters are mental children.  Many youngsters have old souls.  So generational thinking is baloney.  ---  7/18/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  Definition of generation: Anyone within a certain age group within a certain place or culture.  ---  7/18/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  Definitions of generation.  (1) Generation as a distinct and historical time and place.  (2) Generation as anyone who is young or anyone who is old.  The generation gap.  All the young share similarities.  All the old share similarities.  (3) Twenty years passing by, until the kids have kids.  ---  7/18/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  Generational thinking is a form of "us vs. them" mentality.  "Us vs. them" mentality wrongly holds that there always has to be an enemy, and there always has to be a group we view as inferior in order to oppress, exploit and mock to help us feel superior.  ---  7/18/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  I don't believe in the validity of the term "generations" for the same reason I don't believe in the validity of the term "society".  ---  7/16/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  Just because people are born around the same time and around the same place does not mean they share the same experiences and the same attitudes.  ---  7/16/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  Labeling time.  (1) The media feels compelled to name every year (ex. the year of the cat), every decade (ex. the decade of the mind), and every generation (ex. the me generation).  "Generation" thinking is a ridiculous creation of the media.  (2) Not to mention that people feel a need to name every day (ex. national X day), week (ex. national Y week) and month (ex. national Z month).  ---  7/18/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  Media exploits generational thinking to make a buck.  They know that both the young and old lap it up, so they serve it for all its worth.  ---  7/18/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  PART ONE.  A lot of books have been written recently about generations such as The Depression generation,  the WWII generation, the Baby Boomers, Hippies, Yuppies, Generation X.  Frankly, I think the whole idea of "generations" has been over-done.  (1) Generation naming is a form of labeling, and social labeling is wrong.  (2) Generation naming is a form of stereotyping, and social stereotyping is wrong.  (3) If a generation can be easily named it shows that the generation has a dangerous lack of diversity.     PART TWO.  We often hear today's generation whine "Our generation does not have a name."  Be proud that your generation does not have a name.  Be proud that you and your friends can't be categorized.  Accept no labels.     PART THREE.  One good thing that can be said about discussing generations is that it is a way to get people to look at things from a historical perspective.  But "generation" thinking is simplistic.  Lets go a step beyond "generation" thinking.  Lets critique "generation" thinking.  (1) People are born each day and people die each day.  Its not like humans are produced by the batch that we can label a "generation".  (2) People develop at different rates.  Psychological age is not the equivalent of physical age.  Thus, even members of the same graduating class experience the same events at different (psychological) ages.  (3) Generational thinking displays an unacceptable level of actual or impugned homogenization.  (4) The "One great event shaped all our lives", view of generational thinking is baloney.  Its like Carlyle's "Great Man" theory of history.  Both are over-simplifications.  (5)  Critique the concept of "generation" as you would critique the concept of "society" or "culture".  They do not exist.  They are composed of individuals only.  (6) Critique "generation" as not being based on any specific time or place.  Take any group of twenty-somethings from any time and place and compare them to any group of forty-somethings from any time and place.  The twenty-somethings well have more slackers and burger-flippers.  The forty-somethings will have more stable careers.  This is just due to the ages of each group.  People of different ages have different needs and goals, big deal.  ---  7/16/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  Perhaps people are hard-wired or bio-engineered to think in terms of generations.  This predisposition is reflected in modern family sagas such as Roots, The Godfather, and Gone With The Wind.  ---  7/17/2000

Sociology, generations.  ---  The media exploits the generation gap by focusing on generational thinking.  (1) Oldsters want a pat on the back.  They buy themselves luxury cars.  The media exploits the generation gap by giving oldsters "Look What We Did!" types of books, and "When I Was A Kid We Didn't Have It So Good" types of books.  (2) Youngsters want to reaffirm that they are different from the oldsters.  The media exploits the generation gap by giving the youngsters "You are so Different and Unique and Special" types of books.  ---  7/17/2000

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.