Thursday, March 16, 2006

Generation Theory

I've been doing a lot of reading about this, and am astounded at the accuracy of much of what I've read so far.

I'm still not convinced that it isn't all pseudoscience, but then I suppose being a sociological model it is, virtually by definition, generalized and non-specific.

That aside, I have noticed a few faith-based elements that have been slipped into Graeme Codrington's (Codrington is seemingly the pioneer of Generation Theory in the South African context) work, but for the most part it all seems quite reasonable and logical.

I can't speak to the accuracy of the predictions that have been made concerning the Millennial Generation, I suppose time will tell. However, the observations that have been made regarding the GI, Silent and Boomer generations and particularly Generation X seem to be remarkably accurate.

I also can't speak to the accuracy of the conclusions drawn in Generation Theory regarding causes for the behavioural and attitudinal characteristics attributed to the various generations... I have no idea how thoroughly they have been researched, if at all. But they do make sense as they are presented in the literature.

I wonder what tools sociologists have at their disposal for measuring these sorts of things, or if common sense really is the limit of it. (If that is the case, it means that sociology is as subjective and amorphous as its object of study... does it qualify as a science at all? I suppose the same
question could be asked of psychology.)

There are a lot of questions I have about the methodology of how this model was constructed which I have yet to find answers to. However it seems they have stumbled across what appears to be a remarkable sociological trend... even if they have the causes all wrong, the results appear to speak for themselves.

If you're keen to learn more about Generation Theory, there are a plethora of websites on the subject, mostly dealing with the model as applied to the US and Europe. The South African situation is dealt with most comprehensively at and its companion Blog site Worth looking into.