all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively

A generation can mean any group that is sorted by the time they were created.

In a family, a generation means all the people on one level of a family tree. For example, your brothers, sisters and cousins are in the same generation as you.

In populations of people, a “generation” means groups of people born in different periods of time. Each generation lasts for the average amount of time between the birth of parents, and the birth of their children.

”Generation” can also mean a wave or series of something, like a generation of car model (2nd generation for example). Anything that is created in waves can have generations or editions.

Examples of generations:

Generational theory


The sociologist Karl Mannheim (d. 1947) wrote about a theory of generations in his 1923 essay The Problem of Generations.[1]

  • One of the ideas, is the "romantic-historical". In periods of rapid social change a generation would be much more likely to develop a cohesive character.[1] Mannheim identified three (things in common, or) commonalities that a generation shares:[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Pilcher, Jane (September 1994). "Mannheim's Sociology of Generations: An undervalued legacy" (PDF). British Journal of Sociology. 45 (3): 481–495. doi:10.2307/591659. JSTOR 591659. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 March 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  2. Gilleard, Chris; Higgs, Paul (2002). "The third age: Class, cohort or generation?". Ageing and Society. 22 (3): 369–382. doi:10.1017/s0144686x0200870x. S2CID 145549764.