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Generations and Generational Conflict

GENERATIONS AND GENERATIONAL CONFLICT

Elizabeth Townsend

"Generation" is a term that indicates identity with a particular age group. Although it may refer to any age, this term has most often been associated with youth. Generation X, the Lost Generation, the Beat Generation, the "1989" generation, the Pepsi generation, the Baby Boomers, the Sixty-Eighters, the German Youth Movement, the Hitler Youth Movement, and the French bohemians are all examples of youth generations. As a term, "generation" seems familiar, easy to comprehend, self-evident. Yet "generation" can stand for a theoretical concept, a thirty-year age group in society, a student movement, a literary group of friends, a grandchild, youth at war, youth making war. This essay will explore the historical uses of the term "generation," both in social history and in related disciplines.

Generational history has been explored by social historians from several vantage points. It is not, however, an analytical staple, and may well deserve more attention than it has received. The factors that shape a generation vary with time, and generational identity is not a constant. This has been true even in the past two centuries of European history, when the generational concept has been particularly deployed.

DEFINITIONS OF GENERATIONS: BIOLOGY AND HISTORY

The study of generations can be seen as many-layered, but its basic components are the biology and history of individuals within groups. Biology refers to an individual's particular life cycle—birth, growing up, aging, and dying. History refers to the historical placement of the life lived. Historical generations are formed by combining the two. To better see how the term "generation" is used in different contexts, it might be helpful to recognize the mixture of history and biology within each type of use.

First, biological family-based generations can be seen as relationships between father, son, and grandson. Second, genealogical generations can be seen as biological generations used as markers of historical time. In the most famous example, the Old Testament, one biological generation begets another to show how much time passes. Third, a generation can be seen as a group of people born around the same time (a number of painters born during the 1950s, for instance). Often these groups of people know each other (friends, schoolmates) and it is that relationship that is the focus of the study (and how that relationship affects what they do and how they view the world around them). Fourth, "generation" can be used in a broader context to understand larger societal groups. These groups are made up of individuals who do not know each other but nevertheless feel a particular bond because of the time in history that they were born and the events they have lived through.

In some instances, a person could belong to all four types of generation simultaneously. For instance, British writer Robert Graves, born in 1895, lived in a family made up of his parents, his siblings, and grandparents, an example of a biological family-based generation. One could confine a study of Graves to understanding the relationships between the generations of his family. Second, his birth could be used as a marker of the next generation of Graveses or of British upper-class society. This is what a demographer who studies populations, or a genealogist, would do. Third, historians could look at his school friends and see how they viewed the world. This study would be broader than the Graves family study, but would be confined to the relationships of the group he spent his life with. Art historians and literary historians often use the term "generation" in this way, to describe a group of artists working in the same circles, influenced by the same movements, and developing new works within the context of a group consciousness. Fourth, Robert Graves could be seen in the larger context of people born in the 1890s who served in World War I. The members of this larger generation type do not know each other, but they have common ties nevertheless. Born around the same time, they usually experienced the same kinds of events and cultural experiences growing up. Because of this, their reactions to large, often catastrophic events tend to fall within a particular range that makes them identifiable as a group. Graves identified himself as part of the World War I generation.

The concept of generation has been used as far back as the Old Testament, Homer, Herodotus, Plato, and Aristotle. Even this early, "generation" was used in a variety of ways. For instance, Genesis describes biological generations—relationships between parents and children (Adam and Eve with Cain and Abel)—and uses genealogical generations to mark time, as described above. Also, the book of Job contains elements of generational conflict, where one generation does not agree with the next. The Middle Ages with their feudal primogeniture laws of inheritance could also be seen as promoting generational study. But it was not until the nineteenth century that modern theories and examples of generations began to emerge.

THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

Before the industrial revolution, social and technological change moved slowly, with few upheavals that drastically altered circumstances from father to son to grandson. As feudal systems were replaced by capitalist and industrial societies, scientific, industrial, and democratic revolutions changed the structure of society and of historical time, including interaction within the family. Sons and daughters no longer necessarily followed the same life path as their parents and often moved away to industrial jobs or educational opportunities. Thus, the growth of generational consciousness can be seen as a by-product of the growth of industrialization, modernization, urbanization, democratization, and nationalism. Generational identity was a product of a quickly changing society, and came to be seen as synonymous with youth confronting and/or hastening that change.

By the nineteenth century, notions of progress and change had enveloped society. At this time new emphasis was placed on childbearing and childhood, and the idea emerged of "youth" as a distinct time between childhood and adulthood. This time, often spent in new cities or at universities, far from parents, gave youth a time to gather together in coffeehouses and bars, to discuss the new ideas they were being exposed to. They began forming bonds of a generational sort.

Nineteenth-century generations in this context became narrowly defined as conflictual youth movements of the male, educated elite at universities. Some of these students were political, even violent activists.

Others withdrew from society, creating their own alternative bohemian ways of life. This elite expanded during the nineteenth century to include more middle-class men, and many of the student movements rallied for greater access to education for women and for the rights of other groups in society, including peasants. The university became a site of agitation for increased democracy, and the students saw themselves as the generation to bring about that change. They longed to modernize, liberalize, democratize, and radicalize. The German student movements of 1815 and the Russian student movements of the mid-1800s exemplified this desire to change existing institutions and prevailing attitudes. What is interesting about generations is that often the "new" generation builds on the frustrations and dissatisfactions of the old "new" generation. Each successive generation builds on the success or failure of the previous generation, trying to be more modern, more industrialized, and more successful.

Post-Napoleonic student movements. In many ways, generational identity began with the defeat of Napoleon in 1815. As examples, student generations of Germany and France are polar opposites, as one responded to victory over Napoleon and the other to his defeat.

The German student movement, centered in the Burschenschaften (youth associations), is considered the first student revolt in western history. Anthony Esler's Bombs, Beards, and Barricades describes the movement, one centered on the idea of nationalism and a "united Germany." The movement involved university students, many of whom had just returned from having volunteered in the German Wars of Liberation against Napoleon (1813–1815). These young men typically came from middle-class Protestant families from northern Germany. Their anger was directed at Metternich and other politicians, for their lack of commitment to nationalist aims once the war had ended. The sense of a generation emerged as interested students formed reading groups at the universities. This segued into public demonstrations, which culminated in mass public events like the Wartburg Festival. While this generation of students did not find immediate success, their actions spurred other student movements in Germany throughout the nineteenth century, and their dreams were realized when Germany became unified in 1871.

In contrast to the post-Napoleon generation in Germany, with its activism, public protest, and dynamic leaders, the post-Napoleon generations in France took a different path. Alan Spitzer's The French Generation of 1820 explores the incongruencies this generation felt, as they found themselves faced with a far different world than they had been prepared for. As nineteenth-century Europe faced repeated challenges of revolution and revolt, successive generations of youth came to identify with the particular cause at hand.

Anthony Elser also explores the post-Napoleon generations in France, calling them the romantic generations. The first romantic generation, of 1820, set the stage with new ways to think about and view the world, and included writers, painters, and composers like Alexandre Dumas, Honoré de Balzac, Hector Berlioz, Eugène Delacroix, Victor Hugo, and George Sand. The second romantic generation, of 1830, adopted these views and embodied the romantic way of life in dress, style, and attitude. Born around 1810, this was the first bohemian generation. Far from being militant rebels, these youth withdrew from society and created a subculture of their own. Esler describes them as the first modern counterculture.

France and Germany were not the only countries to experience the rise of generational consciousness. In Austria, a generation of 1848 made its presence known, and in Italy the youth played an important part in all steps of unification. Russia also experienced significant generational movements, as the youth sought to move the country into a more democratic era. As populist university students tried unsuccessfully to include peasants in their movement, disillusionment set in, leading to more radical actions.

Interestingly, the German Student Movement, the French bohemians, and the Russian populists were all inspired to action in part by literature. The eighteenth-century poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's novel Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) articulated the frustrations, feelings, and desires of the German students. The work has been identified by scholars as one of the first to inspire a modern generational consciousness. Joachin Whaley's "The Ideal of Youth in Late-Eighteenth-Century Germany" (Roseman, 1995), looks at the works of Goethe, J. C. F. Schiller, and Friedrich Hölderlin in generational context, noting that they reflected a Sturm und Drang generational consciousness that was adopted by subsequent generations as part of their own identity.

Like Goethe, Victor Hugo inspired a generation. His novel Les Misérables is supposed to have presented the first portrait of student revolutionary leaders, which became a universal type taken by subsequent student movements as models for action and style of dress. Esler describes scenes of the 1830 French bohemian generation waiting for hours to see a new play by Hugo, and emphasizes the importance of Hugo's fiction in the development of this generation's conception of itself.

In contrast to Goethe and Hugo's novels, Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev's Fathers and Sons (1862) both embodied the complaints of the Russian nihilist generation and inspired individuals to act like the characters. The relationship of literature and generations continued to be important, but it changed with time. This first set of modern generations in the nineteenth century used literature as a model for their action, thoughts, and behavior.

Generational theories. As generations became identified with revolution and change, in a separate arena theories developed to explain the movement of history by identifying generations. During the nineteenth century, demographers, philosophers, and French historians took up the idea of the generation to categorize humanity, to explain larger questions of society, and to understand the impact of political changes. Auguste Comte used generations to study the "velocity" of human evolution. John Stuart Mill built on Comte's work, and also devoted a few pages to understanding the empirical laws by which society changes with each age.Émile Durkheim examined the influence of generations in times of accelerated change, particularly as men moved to urban areas, where they were less bound by traditions. Justin Dromel sought to organize French history in generational groupings, although he later abandoned the genealogical approach to the idea of collective identity. Other nineteenth-century generationalists include Antoine Cournot, Leopold von Ranke, Giuseppe Ferrari, Gustav Rümelin, Wilhelm Dilthey, Wilhelm Pinder, and Julius Peterson. But it was not until the early twentieth century that modern generational theories were developed. The two major twentieth-century theorists, who sought to understand the nature of the historical or social generation, were the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset and the Austrian-born German sociologist Karl Mannheim. They developed notions of generation that are still used by scholars today.

THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

The twentieth century also saw a change in emphasis within generations themselves. Where in the nineteenth century generations had comprised university students and young bohemian intellectuals struggling to change the culture and institutions of their society, the twentieth century saw generational identity developing around the events of war itself. For many twentieth-century generations, their identity would be forever linked with blood, death, and destruction. The World War I generation, in many ways, became the model for the characteristics and qualities of a war generation.

World War I. Erich Maria Remarque is the most widely read World War I generationalist. His novel All Quiet on the Western Front describes the war and how deeply it affected his generation. Unlike the older generations at the front, with careers and lives to return to after the war, his generation had just graduated from high school, had not begun careers, and had not married or started families. Just when his generation entered the world of adults, they marched off to fight the war. They knew nothing but war. In his novel, Remarque wonders how they will ever fit back into society. He contrasts his generation with the schoolteachers who preached to them of the honor and glory of war—Remarque's generation had believed their teachers and felt betrayed. His parents and grandparents' generations were no better than the schoolteachers; they sat at home gossiping about the war, seeing it more as a chess game than as the reality Remarque's generation experienced. Finally, Remarque describes the generation too young to fight as strong and confident, unblemished by war, which has crippled and worn out his own generation.

A number of scholars, including Robert Wohl, Paul Fussell, Samuel Hynes, and Eric Leeds, have looked at this World War I generation. The generation itself produced many novels and memoirs, including Robert Graves's Goodbye to All That, Vera Brittain's Testament of Youth, Edmund Blunden's Undertones of War, Irene Rathbone's We That Were Young, and R. C. Sherriff's Journey's End. Compared to the nineteenth-century generations, which used literature as a battle cry, the war generation used literature as a healing process for their wounds. Instead of looking to others for models, they wrote stories of their own war experiences. Their literature solidified their identity as a generation.

Out of the aftermath of World War I, Hitler and Mussolini, who both identified themselves as part of the war generation, used the fuel of their broken generation to embark upon their rise to power. The Hitler Youth Movement in Nazi Germany created an institutional identity for a new generation of youth. In this way, generational identity became a tool for military might. One could say that the British had tried this earlier in the century, after they realized they had been unprepared for the Boer War. They started the Boy Scouts to produce men who were fit and healthy for military service in the future. By the 1930s, generational identity was being used as an institutional tool of political control in both Germany and Italy. Literature also played a role in the formation of generations in fascist Europe, in the form of propaganda promoting appropriate behavior and views. This institutional generation faced reconstruction of generational identity upon Germany's defeat in World War II. Alexander von Plato, Dagmar Reese, and Michael Buddrus have written about the difficulty of this transition in a collection of essays edited by Mark Roseman entitled Generations in Conflict: Youth Revolt and Generation Formation in Germany 1770–1968.

World War II. World War II produced identifiable generations associated with resistance, occupation, allies, and Holocaust survivors. In identifying one's own generation age was less important than the activities one was involved in, and the generational aspect played less of a role than in previous instances. And yet, views on politics and visions of what the postwar world should look like were deeply colored by one's generational perspective. Henry Rousso describes this phenomenon in The Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France since 1944. Angela Dalle Vacche also describes a generational progression of visions of Italy's past in The Body in the Mirror: Shapes of History in Italian Cinema. Neither book foregrounds generations as the motivation behind changes in history, but both recognize that with each generation new influences arise and a rewriting of history takes place. In some way, these books mimic the place generation holds in the post–World War II era. No longer the individuals central focus, as in the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the concept of generation is nevertheless still present.

The 1960s marked a resurgence of generational identity and conflict in Europe and America. The 1970s found scholars once again interested in writing about generations, both describing current events as well as investigating past generations. Like the nineteenth-century student movements, the May 1968 student rebellion in Paris and the other student movements throughout Europe and the United States signaled a return to the activist university population, out to change the institutions and culture of society. A great deal has been written on the subject. Ronald Fraser's 1968: A Student Generation in Revolt, using interviews with participants in the 1968 revolts as a basis, compares the rebellion in six countries: the United States, West Germany, France, Italy, Britain, and Northern Ireland. Esler and Lewis Feuer also devote chapters to the 1968 student uprisings in their studies of student movements. In relationship to literature, scholar John Hazlett sees the generation as writing their autobiographies and forming their generational identity in the midst of the events themselves, a process he traces in My Generation: Collective Autobiography and Identity Politics.

In the late twentieth century the notion of generational identity was embraced by American advertisers, who targeted baby boomers and generation X, for example, in their ad campaigns. But unlike earlier generations, centered around activist activities or around war and other types of catastrophic events, these generations were centered around consumerism and economics. In "The 'Generation of 1989': A New Political Generation?" Claus Leggewie demonstrates the difficulties of discussing these generations in the terms used to describe earlier generations.

Leggewie discusses the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, which should have been a marker of identity for a new generation of youth. The participants, however, were well established, middle-aged professionals who, instead of coming from a common socioeconomic background, represented all kinds of social movements, the church, the governing classes, and artistic and intellectual groups. If they were a generation in the previously accepted sense, this group might be called the "eighty-niners," but they do not fit the traditional profile of youth in conflict and revolution. So, instead of looking at the cohort that toppled the wall, Leggewie turns his attention to the youth in 1989, to see if he can fit them into the category of generation. Leggewie's concentration on youth points to the self-inflicted inflexibility felt by those using generation as a category. The youth of 1989 were not active participants, but instead experienced the events as a "community of TV consumers." No longer conflict or war generations, the new generations are defined by their consumerism. This change in orientation in how generations are defined can be seen particularly in studies of the baby boomers and generation X.

APPLICABILITY BY SOCIAL CLASS AND GENDER

Robert Wohl, in The Generation of 1914, sets out the three elements necessary for a historical generation: age, common experiences, and self-conscious identity as part of a generation. Neither social class nor gender is included in this or any other of the standard definitions of generation. Yet the well-known generational studies have concentrated on upper-middle-class, educated male youth during particular times of cultural and political societal change. Charles Rosen's The Romantic Generation provides an example. In his preface, Rosen explains that he excludes women composers from his study because their work and their notoriety are not sufficiently up to the standards of the more well known men composers of the 1820s and 1830s.

Generational histories of war have also focused primarily on men. War brings specific generational identity not merely to those who fight in the battles, but to those who are children during the war, those who care for the combatants, and those who wait, worry, and pray for the safe return of loved ones. Lynne Hanley's Writing War: Fiction, Gender, and Memory explores this theme. Parents, grandparents, and children too young to participate all have experiences, specific to the historical period, that could be categorized from a generational perspective. Too often, though, only the soldiers have been studied.

Feminist scholars have not readily used the generational structure either. Jennifer E. Milligan's The Forgotten Generation: French Women Writers of the Interwar Period presents one example. Her study looks at women writing during the interwar period, regardless of age, to reinscribe them into history. One of her goals is to provide the missing links of collective identity and continuity in women's writings. But her work does not look at a group of women of a particular age, experience, or self-consciousness. Rather she focuses on the writings of women during a period of time, without regard to their historical generational identity. Mark Roseman's 1995 collection Generations in Conflict: Youth Revolt and Generation Formation in Germany 1770–1968, includes two essays specifically on women and generation, as well as essays on Jewish political generational identity, and working-class generational identity. While these essays constitute a good beginning, more studies of generational identity in a myriad of groups are needed to understand better the relationship between class, gender, and generational group formation.

FAMILY-BASED BIOLOGICAL GENERATIONS AS HISTORICAL

For a long time, historians felt that the biological categories of parent, child, and grandchild were ahistorical. Generational histories could not be based on these categories, because no definitive dates existed for clumping people together. Every day a new child is born, making it impossible to distinguish between one historical generation and the next.

And yet, the story of the family within a historical framework has provided a great deal of interest, especially in the form of memoirs and novels. These stories take intergenerational experiences as their focus, shedding light onto larger, historical generations. These types of works provide the opportunity to view generations without focusing on the male elite of society. In fact, many of the most prominent works of this kind have focused on the relationships between mother, daughter, and granddaughter. The most famous of these is American novelist Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club (1989). European examples also exist. British writer Vera Brittain's Honourable Estate (1936) documented in fictional form three generations of her family and the place of women in society—in the suffrage movement, in marriage, in politics, and in war. Her novel Born 1925: A Novel of Youth (1948) explores the relationship between a World War I veteran who began as a pacifist with the next generation's desire to participate in World War II. Marianne Fredriksson's novel Hanna's Daughters: A Novel of Three Generations (1998) spans one hundred years of Scandinavian history and looks at the relationship of mother, daughter, and granddaughter in terms of the interrelationship of choices and opportunities for each.

Another interesting development in generational studies comes from Holocaust scholars, who use the family-based biological category of generation to understand the impact of the Holocaust survivors' experiences on their children and grandchildren. In this way, generational studies look beyond the generation that experienced events firsthand to see what impact their memoirs and experiences have on the next generations.

SOCIAL HISTORY: APPROACHES TO GENERATION

Social historians tend to rely on Karl Mannheim and José Ortega's concepts of generation as the basis for their work. These early-twentieth-century theorists tried to determine the parameters of what makes up a generation. Building on their work, Alan Spitzer, Robert Wohl, Anthony Esler, Lewis Feuer, and Hans Jaeger are among scholars who have investigated the concept of generation. Anthony Esler has quantitatively done the most work on generation, covering a wide variety of subjects, including an introductory history to the concept. Spitzer's "The Historical Problem of Generations," and Jaeger's "Generations in History: Reflections on a Controversial Concept" survey the work on historical generations, and are critical to understanding generation scholarship. Both pieces look at Mannheim and Ortega's theories in the context of other studies on generations.

Robert Wohl and Alan Spitzer both conducted studies on specific generations that led to a deeper exploration into the meaning and theory of generation. In particular, Robert Wohl's work looks at the development of the concept of generation in theoretical terms, and includes detailed chapters on Ortega and Mannheim. Anthony Esler and Lewis Feuer have each written substantial survey works on student and youth generations over the last two hundred years.

OTHER DISCIPLINES AND APPROACHES TO GENERATIONS

Generational historians look at groups of people born around the same time who experienced similar events and circumstances that informed a generational consciousness. But, as this essay points out, the notion of generation has been used in other ways as well, both by historians and in other disciplines.

Artistic and literary scholars have often used the term "generation" when describing a particular art or literary movement—usually referring to a group of friends or people that knew each other. Their point is to confine their study to those who created a particular genre of art. Generation is a structure that helps them define the parameters of their project. Although literary and artistic groups are found throughout both the modern and pre-modern periods, these twentieth-century scholars have conceived of such groups within a generational context.

Samuel Hynes's The Auden Generation depicts a group of friends that developed a prominent British literary movement during the 1930s. Hynes is not concerned with depicting a larger historical generation (such as the war generation) nor is he concerned with intergenerational relationships within the individuals' families. Yet for Hynes the concept of generation is important in defining his project. He begins by defining a literary generation born within a particular range of years (between 1900–1914), who developed with a particular consciousness and in particular circumstances. Although his project aims to better understand English culture during the 1930s, he confines his study to this small group.

Charles Rosen's The Romantic Generation presents examples in the field of music. He studies the music of composers whose style was defined in the 1820s and 1830s, including Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Hector Berlioz, Felix Mendelssohn, and Robert Schumann. He suggests that after Beethoven's death in 1827, this new generation gained a sense of freedom from his shadow. Rosen deliberately excludes Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, because their musical style became fully developed in the 1840s, rather than in the 1820s and 1830s. He seeks to understand how these composers' music is bound to the literature and science of their time.

Leon Edel's Bloomsbury: A House of Lions is a biography of the Bloomsbury group, which included Virginia Woolf, Leonard Woolf, Clive Bell, Virginia's sister Vanessa Bell, Lytton Strachey, John Maynard Keynes, Duncan Grant, and Roger Fry. Although Edel never identifies this group as a generation, his work parallels the generational studies of Rosen and Hynes. He presents a group of artists (some family-related) who worked within the same cultural context, were born around the same period, and grew up under the same circumstances. Thus, Edel looks at the Bloomsbury group in what might be called a generational perspective.

Finally, Gertrude Stein's "Lost Generation" in 1920s Paris is an interesting case. The famous label is supposed to identify a generation lost because of their experiences in World War I. However, a number of the most prominent members of this Lost Generation never actually fought in the war. They might more appropriately be called the "expatriate generation." Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties and Thirties by Noel Riley Fitch chronicles the world surrounding Shakespeare and Company, Beach's English bookstore and lending library located in Paris. Like Edel, Hynes, and Rosen, Fitch sets out to paint a portrait of a group of artists, including Ernest Hemingway, William Carlos Williams, James Joyce, and Ezra Pound.

Sociologists and other social scientists study generations as well. In both his 1951 dissertation, The Cohort Approach, and his 1965 essay, The Cohort as a Concept in the Study of Social Change, Norman Ryder was the first to substitute the word "cohort" for generations. Usually using birth-years as a marker, Ryder pointed out in his essay that a cohort can be defined by an infinite number of markers, such as marriage year, graduation year, or even all those who published a novel in a particular year or set of years. He discarded the notion of a collective generational self-consciousness, pointing to the homogeneity within a cohort group. Yet he believed that cohorts powered social change. Cohorts are determined by temporal, rather than qualitative, subjective data. In 1997 Melissa A. Hardy compiled a series of sociological essays, Studying Aging and Social Change, beginning with classic essays by Mannheim and Ryder, and including later developments in specific sociological areas of cohort analysis, aging, and social change.

Other disciplines that use the concept of generations are anthropology and gerontology. The life-course approach focuses on shared experiences at particular stages in life. Life-course scholars focus on all stages of life, rather than the narrow focus on youth often taken by generation scholars. Life-course scholars often, but not exclusively, use a biographical approach to their subjects. Age-groups and age-systems are a related area of study used by sociologists, anthropologists, gerontologists, and other scholars. An example of such studies is The Changing Contract across Generations (1993), edited by V. L. Bengston and W. A. Achenbaum.

CONCLUSION

Generational studies tend to track change—whether within families, over long historical periods in the form of statistics, in small intimate groups, or in large social groups. Change is often created by the generation's reaction to larger events that have changed their circumstances within society. Generations can be active artistic and political movements, or they can be passive or consumer groups. What they have in common is that they alert us to some kind of change. They are like barometers measuring the pressure of change on society, yet they also exert pressure, influencing the particular changes a society makes in its institutions and culture.

See also other articles in this section.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baird, Allen Jan. Family Life Course and the Economic Status of Birth Cohorts: The United States and Western Europe, 1950–1976. New York, 1989.

Bertman, Stephen, ed. The Conflict of Generations in Ancient Greece and Rome. Amsterdam, 1976.

Esler, Anthony. Bombs, Beards, and Barricades: 150 Years of Youth in Revolt. New York, 1971.

Esler, Anthony. Generations in History: An Introduction to the Concept. N.p., 1982.

Feuer, Lewis S. The Conflict of Generations: The Character and Significance of Student Movements. New York, 1969.

Furness, Raymond. Zarathustra's Children: A Study of a Last Generation of German Writers. Rochester, N.Y., 2000.

Hass, Aaron. In the Shadow of the Holocaust: The Second Generation. Ithaca, N.Y., 1990.

Hazlett, John Downton. My Generation: Collective Autobiography and Identity Politics. Madison, Wis., 1998.

Herlihy, David. "The Generation in Medieval History." Viator 5 (1974): 347–364.

Hynes, Samuel. The Auden Generation: Literature and Politics in England in the 1930s. London, 1976.

Jaeger, Hans. "Generations in History: Reflections on a Controversial Concept." History and Theory 24, no. 3 (1985): 273–292.

Leggewie, Claus. "The 'Generation of 1989': A New Political Generation?" In Rewriting the German Past: History and Identity in the New Germany. Edited by Reinhard Alter and Peter Monteath. New Jersey, 1997.

Mannheim, Karl. "The Problem of Generations." In Studying Aging and Social Change: Conceptual and Methodological Issues. Edited by Melissa A. Hardy. Thousand Oaks, Calif., 1997.

Marías, Julián. Generations: A Historical Method. Translated by Harold C. Raley. University, Ala., 1967.

Mushaben, Joyce Marie. From Post-War to Post-Wall Generations: Changing Attitudes towards the National Question and NATO in the Federal Republic of Germany. Boulder, Colo., 1998.

Passerini, Luisa. Autobiography of a Generation: Italy, 1968. Translated by Lisa Erdberg. Hanover, N.H., 1996.

Pilkington, Hilary, ed. Gender, Generation, and Identity in Contemporary Russia. London and New York, 1996.

Roseman, Mark, ed. Generations in Conflict: Youth Revolt and Generation Formation in Germany 1770–1968. Cambridge, U.K., 1995.

Spitzer, Alan B. The French Generation of 1820. Princeton, N.J., 1987.

Spitzer, Alan B. "The Historical Problem of Generations." American Historical Review 78:5 (1973): 1353–1385.

Winston, Stuart Conrad. Hemingway's France: Images of the Lost Generation. San Francisco, 2000.

Wohl, Robert. The Generation of 1914. Cambridge, Mass., 1979.

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