Research into the religious beliefs and behaviors of children, young people, adults, and elderly people prompts questions about the way “generation” is understood in the social scientific study of religion. What seem to the researcher at first to be shared values and beliefs on broad moral issues appear, at least to older people, to be lacking amongst the young. Such a difference in perception could be an example of a “generation” gap where generation is perceived by theorists such as Mannheim to be a shared identity of people who have a social history in common. Extensive literature in both anthropology and sociology is explored to find how such concepts are understood and operationalized. Detailed ethnography amongst elderly Anglican women begins to problematize how such notions as boundaries of “generation” blur with gender.
This article examines memories of socialism among different generations in Nowa Huta, Poland. Initially built as an industrial “model socialist town“, since 1989 Nowa Huta experienced economic decline and marginalization. Its socialist legacy is now being reinterpreted in ways that reflect changed political, economic, and social conditions. This article describes contemporary public representations of the town's history and considers how they resonate with the experiences and understandings of different generations of residents, from the town's builders to the youngest generation, who have no firsthand memories of the socialist period. It demonstrates how generational categories are both reflected and constructed through different accounts of the past, while also revealing overlaps between them. Throughout, specific attention is paid to the relationship between narratives of the past, present, and future, and present-day political and economic realities.
Mary Jane Kehily
New femininities suggest that young women, no longer content with subordinate status in the bedroom or on the periphery of youth cultures, appear to have found their voice as the 'can do' girls of neo-liberalism. Familiar tropes of new femininities position young women as agentic, goal-oriented, pleasure seeking individuals adept at reading the new world order and finding their place within it. Has femininity finally found a skin that fits or are there cracks in this unparalleled success story? The article examines this question intergenerationally by looking at young women's experience across time, specifically, as documented by feminist scholarship from the 1960s to the present and contrasting this with the experience of being a girl as articulated by three women in the same family—grandmother, mother, daughter. Analyses of these accounts provide an insightful commentary on social change and feminine subjectivity, highlighting continuity and change while pointing to the ever present contradictions of femininity that may be reshaped and reconfigured over generations.
R. Tina Catania
English abstract: In studies of immigration, generation is typically considered a static categorical system. I argue, however, that generation is a fluid construct and must be understood as place-based. Drawing on fieldwork conducted among Latino/as along the Texas–Mexico border, I seek to explore what current framings of generation leave out. Many in Laredo, Texas, see this border as allowing or preventing movement; these perceptions impact the constructions of generational categories. Cross-border travel, conceptualizations of place and immigration, and mixed-generational unions shape immigrant experiences, and in turn, affect concepts of generation. I conclude by offering ideas and inviting discussion on how the concept of generation can be re-worked to move beyond blunt categories and be re-conceptualized from the perspective of immigrants.
Spanish abstract: Usualmente los estudios sobre inmigración consideran la generación cómo un sistema categórico estático. Este artículo argumenta que es una construcción fluida que debe ser comprendida como una iniciativa local. Mediante un trabajo de campo realizado a latinos/as en la frontera entre Texas y México, el artículo explora qué corrientes actuales de generaciones están excluidas. Muchos en Laredo (Texas) ven esa frontera como un factor que permite o impide los desplazamientos, percepciones que influyen en las construcciones de categorías generacionales. Los viajes transfronterizos, las conceptualizaciones del lugar y de la inmigración y las uniones generacionales mixtas, dibujan las experiencias de los inmigrantes, lo que a su vez, influye en los conceptos de las generaciones. El autor concluye abriendo un espacio de discusión sobre la manera de cómo se debe de re-trabajar el concepto de generación para sobrepasar las categorías terminantes y para ser re-conceptualizadas desde la perspectiva de los inmigrantes.
French abstract: Dans les études portant sur l'immigration, la génération est généralement considérée comme un système rigide statique. Cependant, nous soutenons que la génération est une construction fluide et doit être comprise comme une initiative locale. Partant d'un travail de terrain réalisé auprès des Latino / le long de la frontière entre le Texas et le Mexique, je cherche à explorer les courants qui traversent ce e génération lésée. Beaucoup à Laredo, au Texas voient ce e frontière comme un facteur favorisant ou empêchant les déplacements; ces perceptions influent sur la construction des catégories générationnelles. La migration transfrontalière, les conceptualisations de l'espace et de l'immigration, et les mariages générationnels mixtes façonnent les expériences vécues par les migrants, qui à leur tour, influent sur les concepts de génération. Nous concluons en proposant des idées et invitant à la discussion sur la façon dont le concept de génération peut être retravaillé pour s'étendre au-delà des catégories franches et être re-conceptualisé du point de vue des immigrés.
An Exploration of European Research Drivers in Central Slovakia
This article presents some findings from the ethnography exploration of priority research in the European Research Area. The title of the priority is ‘Connecting People with Heritage’. The Old Generation and Generation Y are the drivers contained in the document’s strategic research agenda (SRA). The research has been conducted by European experts within the Joint Program Initiative in Cultural Heritage (JPI CH). Revitalisation of local society is related to sustainability of specific local forms of culture. The demographic changes, mobility and new forms of cultural transfer are only some of the phenomena affecting generational transmission in the local culture. Both generations are dissimilar in their attitudes to roles and values in the local culture. Generational interactions in a living form of intangible culture in central Slovakia exemplify its significance for anthropology.
Generation in Physiology, Pedagogy and Politics around 1800
Using the pattern of subsequent generations, contingent processes of historical change can be narrated as if they were something natural. The article explores this naturalizing potential of the modern concept of generation by tracing it back to its origin around the year 1800, when current physiological theories about the “epigenetic” self-organization of life became applicable to pedagogical and political programs of “new” and “forthcoming” generations. The article also discusses the methodological question of how such conceptual transfers can be adequately described.
Lucy D. Curzon
Ann Travers. 2018. The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution. New York: New York University Press.
Ann Travers’s new book, The Trans Generation: How Trans Kids (and Their Parents) Are Creating a Gender Revolution (hereafter The Trans Generation) is a highly persuasive investigation that sheds much-needed scholarly light on a grossly marginalized, precarious community. Travers interviewed 36 transgender children, and many of their parents, to reveal the challenges they face in everyday use of bathrooms, locker rooms, and other rigidly gendered spaces, as well as in interactions with friends, parents, and siblings, as well as schools, and local and state or provincial governments. Apart from the scope of this study, what is remarkable about The Trans Generation is its accessibility. Instead of presenting a quantitative analysis, which can be alienating to readers outside academia, Travers offers an exhaustive qualitative study parsed in highly thoughtful, eloquent, and open terms—one that prizes the individuality, indeed the knowableness, of each child interviewed. And, although The Trans Generation is not explicitly dedicated to discussions of girlhood, the focus of this journal, it nonetheless offers, I argue, valuable new paradigms or strategies for thinking about girls’ lives and identities.
From Euskara as Counterculture to Euskara as the Classroom Language
Following the Spanish transition to democracy and the subsequent Basque revitalisation, a new label emerged to describe euskaldun berriak, ‘new Basques’. This label distinguished them from traditional speakers of the minority language. This forum piece describes the profiles of two new Basque speakers who represent different generations of new Basque speakerhood, reflecting the rapid changes in the sociolinguistic situation of the Basque Country.
Life narratives in postwar Mostar
In situations in which an entire population is affected by war and great political-economic transformations, as was the case in Bosnia and Herzegovina, generational differences exist regarding the extent to which people experience these events as disruptions to their lives. Even in a nationally divided city like Mostar after the 1992-1995 war, generational experiences-of past and present times as well as of future prospects (or the lack thereof)-are crucial for the way people rethink the past and (re)position themselves in the present. In the case of the generation of the "Last Yugoslavs", I argue that the disruption of their life course and the resulting loss of future prospects prevent people from narrating the local past and their lives in a meaningful and coherent way.
Symbols and Lived Experiences in Caribbean Migration to the UK
Huon Wardle and Laura Obermuller
The Windrush scandal belongs to a much longer arc of Caribbean-British transmigration, forced and free. The genesis of the scandal can be found in the post–World War II period, when Caribbean migration was at first strongly encouraged and then increasingly harshly constrained. This reflection traces the effects of these changes as they were experienced in the lives of individuals and families. In the Caribbean this recent scandal is understood as extending the longer history of colonial relations between Britain and the Caribbean and as a further reason to demand reparations for slavery. Experiences of the Windrush generation recall the limbo dance of the middle passage; the dancer moves under a bar that is gradually lowered until a mere slit remains.