cochorts – generation


jstor.org 1994 BJS – Mannheim’s Sociology of Generations: An Undervalued Legacy by Jane Pilcher

Abstract : Mannheim’s 1923 essay ‘The Problem of Generations’ has often been described as the seminal theoretical treatment of generations as a sociological phenomenon. Yet in practice scant attention has been paid to the sociology of generations by British sociologists. This is despite the notion of generation being widespread in everyday language as a way of understanding differences between age groups and as a means of locating individuals and groups within historical time. This paper aims to raise the profile of the sociology of generations within British sociology. It is shown that Mannheim’s essay can be read as a text which contributes to our understanding of key sociological issues, in addition to ‘the problem of generations’. These issues include the nature of time, the relationship between biology and the social, and socio-psychological connections of language and knowledge.