Mannheim's 'Theory of Generations' (Definitions (Theory of…
Mannheim's 'Theory of Generations'
Theory of Generations:
People are significantly influenced by the socio-historical environment (in particular notable events that involve them actively of their youth), giving rise on the basis of shared experience, to social cohorts that in turn influence events that shape future generations.
Suggests that generations change swiftly in response to major events.
: all people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively.
In his book, Ideology and Utopia 1929, he argues that ideologies are the true nature of any given society and in trying to achieve a utopia, these ideologies affect theories of philosophy and even history.
Hungarian sociologist who was particularly influential in the first half of the 20th century.
Founding father of classical sociology, and a founder of the sociology of knowledge.
Mannheim agreed with some Marxist thought, particularly the idea that a person's beliefs can be shaped depending on the type of group that person belongs to.
This could explain the basis of his theory as this Marxist belief places high value on a group an individual belongs to (i.e. their generation)
Characteristics of generations and worldviews
Generation Y: Individuals born between 1982 and 2000. Constructs the fastest growing segment of the workforce.
Able to navigate technology, rely on it to perform their jobs better.
Generation X : 1965- 1980 'Latchkey kids' Grew up with divorced, career driven parents.
Gen Baby Boomers :Born between 1946- 1964 Result of dramatic birtrates following WW2
Millenials: 1981-2000 Known as being confident, entitled and depressed
Gen Z: 1995- Technology reliant
Opinions of experts/critical review
"Mannheim fails to define the generation with great specificity." - David M.McCourt, international political sociologist.
Unspecifies the links between generations and other social factors like class, race, status, geospatial location, etc.
Political scientists have also shown that generational membership and generational shifts do not always predict political views with great accuracy.
Mannheim places too much emphasis on time and fails to consider various other important in the development of personal and social identity.