Mannheim's Theory of Generations (characteristics and worldviews of…
Mannheim's Theory of Generations
Born into the Austro-Hungarian Empire, 1893
developed his theory in 1923, when he was 30
Mannheim's Theory of Generations understood a generation to be a cohort of a population who have experienced similar events in their youth, during a distinct period of time
According to Mannheim, older generations form the social context which a new generation makes "fresh contact" with.
When this occurs, the new generation slightly alters the social context by selecting or emphasising particular aspects of it.
As such, each new generation provides opportunities for social and cultural continuity and change.
characteristics and worldviews of generations
Intermediate between the conservative and
superficial culture between X and Z e.g. the rise of clothing, music, and other tastes.
Teenaged during the internet, first generation where adolescence is shaped by technologies
start of multiculturalism and globalisation - technologies such as planes allowed for a 'shrinked world'
Progressive ideals - in Australia, a multicultural environment
technology and reliance
social ideals transmitted through social media technologies
language and slang shaped by humour e.g. memes
experience of smartphones and internet - expression of self identity in terms of 'selfies' and blogging
'self obsessed' and entitled
Conservative ideals shaped by post-war/depression ideals
political patriotic ideoligies
Invention of the teenager
Mannheim is correct to an extent - The extent of the generational 'gap' is true - people of different ages tend to have different world views
Complexity - Mannheim did not consider other environment as a factor - factors such as beliefs, socialisation, class, and status - as more important. The process of socialisation in different societies create different norms
"Mannheim fails to define the generation with any great precision. He thus conflates the impact of generations with age- and cohort-effects,4 leaving underspecified the links between generations and other social factors, including class." - David M. McCourt
'Mannheim’s Theory of Generations suggests that generations change swiftly in response to major events" - Darrin J. DeChane