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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I don't really see it, honestly. It's just really easy for people to take a few examples of people doing things in one generation, and then blowing them out of proportion to apply to the whole generation.

    I think there have always been several types of people in each generation. For instance, not every teenager in the 60's was a hippy, nor did all of those who didn't become one oppose them. Some of them just didn't get caught up with that kind of thing, but the people we end up remembering, who make impressions on us... were the ones who did.

    I'd say these cycles have more to do with the way people's memories tend to work, than how things really are.
    Obviously. This only applies to very large scale trends, that shape how the overall picture formed in that period of history. It doesn't mean whatsoever that everyone in a generation had the same sort of characteristics. If you think that, you've missed the point entirely. What it means is that society as a whole, on the grander scale, moves within these sorts of patterns and cycles forming certain trends in history. The meaning of it changes if you're trying to look at it from the micro level (focusing on the behavior of individuals) as opposed to the macro level (focusing on the direction society took in that period of time). Also, while history may often be moved by a relatively few individuals, society still follows with the resulting changes they brought on, in the direction set by those events.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I don't really see it, honestly. It's just really easy for people to take a few examples of people doing things in one generation, and then blow them out of proportion to apply to the whole generation. Usually what they choose to emphasize is influenced by what kind of current events and fears permeate the climate at the time.

    I think there have always been several types of people in each generation. For instance, not every teenager in the 60's was a hippy, nor did all of those who didn't become one oppose them. Some of them just didn't get caught up with that kind of thing, but the people we end up remembering, who make impressions on us... were the ones who did.

    I'd say these cycles have more to do with the way people's memories tend to work, than how things really are.

    This is true. Even historically speaking, there were several elements of the Baby-Boomer generation who were staunchly conservative in the 1960's, we usually don't hear about them.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Perhaps, but there can also be the dimension of mass society and politics involved here. It was also an issue not neglected by Jung either.
    Yea, I fully agree. These are some of the many factors contributing to the patterns being discussed.

  4. #24
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Obviously. This only applies to very large scale trends, that shape how the overall picture formed in that period of history. It doesn't mean whatsoever that everyone in a generation had the same sort of characteristics. If you think that, you've missed the point entirely. What it means is that society as a whole, on the grander scale, moves within these sorts of patterns and cycles forming certain trends in history. The meaning of it changes if you're trying to look at it from the micro level (focusing on the behavior of individuals) as opposed to the macro level (focusing on the direction society took in that period of time).
    Oh.

    Well, I think you'd have to zoom out pretty far and ignore a lot of details to see it that way, but... okay. Although I would offer another idea. That what what people perceive as happening to "society" is really just an image that comes from the events that make an impression on people. It may or may not have a lot to do with how the majority of people did things, reacted, or believed at that point, but it will influence people's perception of how things have been and where they should go, thus creating the cycles you describe.

    In other words, the trends may well be created as much by impressions of what events indicate, as by real events. I even have the notion that the idea of "society" as a collective moving in a direction is something of an abstraction. People believe in the idea of "a whole society," so they see things in terms of it. If you choose to look at things in other terms, you'll see them differently. I guess I just don't see why society should be viewed as a whole and unified entity with clear beliefs, when it has actually always been quite fragmented and disjointed underneath the surface. The reason people see things this way, is because they don't notice anything beyond the surface picture (which looks like those cycles) unless it erupts in a way that grabs their attention, and changes that surface picture.

  5. #25
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I guess I just don't see why society should be viewed as a whole and unified entity with clear beliefs, when it has actually always been quite fragmented and disjointed underneath the surface.
    Well first, there is a distinction between a society and a community. Second, advacing the wholeness of society does not necessarily contradict the reality of its divisions as well.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Oh.

    Well, I think you'd have to zoom out pretty far and ignore a lot of details to see it that way, but... okay. Although I would offer another idea. That what what people perceive as happening to "society" is really just an image that comes from the events that make an impression on people. It may or may not have a lot to do with how the majority of people did things, reacted, or believed at that point, but it will influence people's perception of how things have been and where they should go, thus creating the cycles you describe.

    In other words, the trends may well be created as much by impressions of what events indicate, as by real events.
    Also, while history may often be moved by a relatively few individuals, society still follows with the resulting changes they brought on, in the direction set by those events.
    ^ amended quote

    Totally, I get what you're saying. There are always different pieces of information to be seen from varying levels of perspective. As I said above, it doesn't even have to be a change brought on/started by everyone in society during a certain time period, but can be sparked by more isolated events and/or a relative few individuals. But what determines whether or not that contributes to a trend in society depends on whether the aftershocks of those events reverberate through the collective, as a descending wave that ends up forming perceptible changes on the macro and micro levels to varying degrees. I think what the theory focuses on are indeed the impressionable events that seem to paint their own picture about the time period they belonged to. Not everything in that time adhered to the same form, but the imprint those events made on history and society had reverberations carried on through the future.

    Zooming in, he seems to think that it is the character of the generations themselves that shape the character of that time period. At this level is where people most often try to ascribe a general characterization to the generations. Of course, not everyone fits the constraining definitions formed for their respective generations, but the definitions apply more to the general trends around their period as well as the imprint they made onto society (sometimes generally, sometimes from specific events).

    Like with the boomers, they are characterized as hippies and such, the generation of great numbers who brought about a great social revolution for blacks, women, environment, etc. It was a mood and a movement that didn't manifest itself through everyone of that generation, but was strong enough to make its own impression on history and society, resulting in what we have today with the great strides in equality for women and black people, as well as the ever empowered environmental movement. These are examples of things that really got started with their generation, and are thus used to characterize them. what they started had lasting effects on society, as is the case with every generation.

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