Generation Gap: Regarding Building Bridges Between Generations and Reviving Lost Values

Published: 2021-06-17 06:29:34
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Generation gap is caused by rapid social change in human society. Human with their different in experiences, occupy different positions, will eventually born conflicts within the community. At the same time with globalisation, the modern culture in the developing countries now thrives human society to change in a rapid rate, either in their contacts with the surroundings or with other beings, which eventually may lead to many long-term consequences. My work, which is an fantasy graphic novel, is a portrait of our world with all these current issues regarding generation gap. With generational conflict as the focus of the whole story. It questions the attitude, priority and unwrittens issues in which were formed by our behaviours in the current world. I strike to convey that sense of respect and understanding between humans and humans. On the other hand, my goal is to remind us to slow down, appreciate and reconnect with the world around us, which is almost forgotten in the current modern world.
Modernisation as the Cause of Generation Gap
Regarding generation gap, it appears that different generations are facing conflicts in many aspects of life as a result of modernisation. Srudevi K Patil (2014:312) examined how a generation gap reflects the conflict between modern and traditional sections of the modern India society. He found that, as education and modernization expand, both generations were both likely to either suffer culture lag that leaves them behind in the areas of modern life or fail to carry out a portion of its traditional guidance. This difference in values, beliefs and mindset remained the same in family, marital life and recreation. When the young generation cherish their independence, the old seek to dominate the young. He also found that the expanse of urbanization, literacy and industrialization have brought distinctive psycho-social changes to the personality structure of the individuals, who exposed to them. For example, despite knowing the rapid change of social change, adults fails to consider it when interacting with children. As a result, the parents often enforce rules and social behaviour of their own generation. Thus, conflicts were born between generations as a result of modernisation.While, based upon research, the generational conflicts appeared under the pressure of changes from the society’s modernisation process as a matter of courses. Public perceptions may underestimate its dimensional consequences in a long-term view due to the neglect of this issues in daily context.
The Types of Intergenerational Conflict
Edward J. Clarke, Mar Preston, Jo Raksin, and Vern L. Bengtson conducted a mail-out survey to investigate the dimensions of conflict and its effect in older parent-adult child intergenerational relationship. By collecting the written comments by parents and their adult children, they gathered data and develop categories that maybe used for typologize the intergenerational conflict. In the end, they came up with 6 types that emerged relate to conflicts: (1) communication and interaction style, (2) habits and lifestyles, (3) child-rearing practices and values, (4) work habits and orientation, (5) politics, religion and ideology and (6) household standards or maintenance. It was found that there are 2 most frequent intergenerational conflicts: problems in communicating and interaction style stood out by an additional of 32%, followed by disagreement over personal habits and choices, which were mentioned in 32% of the answer. The generation gap here seemed far more consistent with the data. However, the frequency distribution of conflicts types weren’t as striking as expected between the child and parent groups. The results indicated that conflict between these 2 generations maybe more widespread than is commonly assumed. During their discussion, the potential for debilitating effects of conflict is clear. Maintaining conflicted relationship cause a continual drain on emotional resources and eventually will decay to a ” long-term, lousy relationship” (Bengtson, 1996).
Modernisation and Change in Humanity’s Lifestyle
However, it appeared that the long-term consequences of generational conflicts do not stop there, rising the balance between human and nature. Gaia Vince (2012) examined human’ consumption habit after the great Acceleration. The rapid increase of human activity has led to the rise in everything: carbon dioxide, water use, cars number, deforestation and consumption. When now humanity’s lives are now more comfortable compare to an average human from a century earlier, people are buying things they may not need. While this excessive consumption habit may help the governments to excess their economies, it’s harming the environment. “In nature, ‘resources’ are recycled. But the scale with which humans are using resources is too rapid for natural systems to manage.” (Gaia Vince, 2012)
On the other side, Stanley Knick (2010) analysed the downside in the shift from traditional to modern culture, regarding sustainability in the living environment and emotional connection. The shift from rural life to urban life which happen mostly due to the development of mechanized means of production, is the core of the change from traditional to modern culture. He found that the constant stream of refugees from modern culture is a sign of the hole in modern culture. Modern culture, despite its seductive and power, failed to secure human’ longs of connections. By comparing the differences between the 2 cultures in various aspects: the system, their beliefs in power and the relationships with nature and living environment, the article stated out how modernization has changed humanity’s lifestyle and mindset. Additionally, the shift in behaviour and consumption habits resulted various consequences endangering the current world’s sustainability. However, the question must be raised: Does the changes and differences in values, habits and behaviours between generations mean it’s impossible to decoding this generational conflict?
Commonality and Cross-Generational Conversations
Despite each individual’s uniqueness and different in standards, human being still shared a few commonality as they are living under the same society with a rapid changing pace. Alex Smith (2017) questioned the possibility of closing the generation gap. With the risen points-gap of levels of conservative support between the over-65s and those aged 25-34 (from 11% to 34%) has strengthen the picture of UK’s divided generations. While both groups has many differences opinions compare to the other, they shared many commonality. By addressing their common problem: loneliness and adapting in a rapid shifting world, the article raised a direction to solve this age gap. While many older people have deep roots in their communities, they have few connections, while it’s totally contrasting for the young group of people.
By spending time and with others, people may learnt that they may learn so much from those unlike themselves. This method has been applied on organisations and civil initiatives in other to create cross-generational conversations that helps to close the current growing social gap between generations. It appears in studies that different generations are having contradictions in many aspects of life as a result of modernisation. While public does not think much of this issue, maintaining conflicted relationship cause a continual drain on emotional resources and eventually will decay to a ” long-term, lousy relationship”. Other research discovered that this changes in values and lifestyles is also endangering balance between human and nature, when humans’ consumption habit is too rapid for natural systems to manage.
While both groups has many differences living standards compare to the other, they shared many commonality. Cross-generational conversations may has an even more powerful effect on helping to close the current growing social gap between generations. Take it as a whole, it appears that by facing and sharing the same problem, generations may understand and learn more from each other, which reduce the conflicts between generations. Caution must be advised, though; the study (Edward J. Clarke, 1999) was conducted though written mails towards parents and children. Future research need to replicate these findings in a broader group of population in other to examine an ever-changing issue.
Reference List

Alex Smith. (2017) ‘The generation gap is deep, here is how we bridge it’, The Guardian, 4 September.
Don Kalb and Marco van den Land (2000), The end of Globalization: Bringing Society back in, 273-279, Rowman and Littlefield Publisher, Inc.
Edward J. Clarke, PhD, Mar Preston, MA, Jo Raksin, BA, and Vern L. Bengtson, PhD. (1999)’ Types of Conflicts and tensions between older parents and children’, The Gerontologist, vol 39, No. 3, 261-270.
Gaia Vince (2012) ‘Beating our consumption habit’, BBC, 12 July.
Srudevi K. Patil. (2014) ‘A sociological Perspective oF Generation gap’, International Journal of innovative research and development, Vol 3 issue 3, 312-314.
Stanley Knick. (2010) ‘Traditional culture and Modern culture: Man’s fall from Grace’, Huffpost, 26 July.

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