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Generational Temporalities and Rhythm-analysis

digital Generational Temporalities and Rhythm-analysis
issue COMUNICAZIONI SOCIALI - 2019 - 2. Generations, Time, and Media
title Generational Temporalities and Rhythm-analysis
publisher Vita e Pensiero
format Article | Pdf
online since 09-2019
doi 10.26350/001200_000059
issn 03928667 (print) | 18277969 (digital)
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In his theory of generations Ortega y Gassett suggested what others have come to call the “pulserate” hypothesis, where he argued that generational exchanges occurred in thirty-year cycles. His student Julián Marías later qualified this to fifteen years. This mechanistic theory has, of course, met with criticism – for being too mechanistic, and for being insensitive to different types of temporalities. Nonetheless, the self-perception of generations is not only guided by the relation to coevals, but also to, what Ricoeur calls “contemporaries, predecessors, and successors”, that is, the generations that came before, those with whom one shares experiences as coevals, and those who will succeed oneself. In this paper will be discussed the relations between the – often nostalgic – memories that communify coevals, and the experiences of generation as kinship that impact on a person’s perception of their place in the generational succession order, and how this can be developed into a generational rhythm analysis. It is argued that the rhythm of collective social life, which is arrhythmic along diversities in the combination of life-course and generational features seems to prevent the increase in “generational turnover” that could be expected through the increased speed of the “technological turnover” that follow from digitisation.


Generation theory; time; space; rhythm; social change.

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