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'Talkin’ ‘bout my generation’ : Perceptions of generational belonging among the 1958 cohort

Elliott, Jane (2013) 'Talkin’ ‘bout my generation’ : Perceptions of generational belonging among the 1958 cohort. Sociological Research Online. ISSN 1360-7804. DOI UNSPECIFIED (In Press)

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Abstract

This paper explores the meaning of the concept of generational identity for a specific cohort of individuals born in Britain in the late 1950s - now in their early fifties. It draws on qualitative biographical interviews that have been carried out with a subsample of 170 members of the 1958 British Birth Cohort Study. These interviews included questions about cohort members’ sense of identity and specifically asked ‘Do you think of yourself as belonging to a particular generation?’ Cohort members' understandings of the multi-faceted concept of 'generation' are explored and the strategies that individuals used to answer this question are discussed. Although they were born at a time of continued high fertility in Britain, following the Second World War, it is clear that this cohort do not see themselves as properly part of the 'baby boom'. Analysis suggests that this group derive a sense of generational location more from cultural than from structural factors, or from political events. Indeed the majority of them do not have a strong generational identity and might be thought of as a 'passive generation'.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: 1958, generation, cohort, Identity, baby boom
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2014 15:25
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 09:04
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