This piece discusses the concept of ‘generation’ and its several meanings. While it argues that generation is an important concept for putting lives in historical context, it needs to take account of social differences within and between generations. Looking at family generations, such differences become evident together with the processes through which they come about, especially when understood in their historical context. Some of the methodological approaches to analysing intergenerational family research are briefly outlined.
Julia BrannenThomas Coram Research Unit, University of London, UK