Thursday, November 07, 2013

Generations and response cohorts

In a now-familiar coinage, Strauss and Howe popularized the notion that "millennials" are THE contemporary generation, succeeding the previous one, Generation X.  Btw, the concept of generation theory, which has always struck me as somewhat dubious, goes back to the 1920s. In those days the German scholar Wilhelm Pinder, one of the first advocates of the idea, wrote of “contemporaneous noncontemporaneity. That is, different character types may be thought of as it were stacked one atop the other.

Today it seems to me that it is not character types but response to technology that is the key.  In this light four cohorts coexist today; 1) the Luddites, who refuse to acquire any digital skills; 2) reluctant cyberconverts like me; 3) cybercompetents, who were not, however, born that way; and 4) young people who have known nothing but the cyber world.

 (For an account of the Strauss-Howe theories, see the following:–Howe_generational_theory)


Blogger Stephen said...

You need to proofread your titles. This and the previous one have typos.

9:54 AM  

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