English151 Honors, 006
September 11, 2011
Taking Over Generations: One Purchase At A Time
We are a market generation of individual choice or we are part of one of the many tribes of teendom. These two contrasting views come from separate articles entitled, “Gen (Fill in the Blank): Coming of Age, Seeking an Identity” by Arlie Russell Hochschild, and, “Goths in Tomorrowland” by Thomas Hine. These articles have different perspectives when it comes to classifying a generation. Hochschild seeks to define the generation as a whole where as Hine discusses the different youth subcultures. However, both articles talk about how marketing has a big influence on generations today. I will start with how Hochschild’s article defined a generation. Hochschild begins with an interesting viewpoint from German sociologist Karl Mannheim. For Mannheim not every cohort is a generation, but becomes a generation when the members of the cohort endure a powerful historical event. These individuals have a connection to each other and to history that brings them together as one generation. The problem that then arises is that in the past few decades, with the exception of September eleventh, the United States has only had economic and social issues that place burden on the individual rather then the group. There is no common ground that brings us together as we move into the future. Hine has a similar view, where he discusses how fragmentation has been the central theme of the last quarter of the 20th century. He goes on to say that postmodern literary theory warns us not to trust narratives, so therefor advertising doesn’t even unite the country anymore because we either don’t believe what the media tells us or we choose to be different from mainstream society. In a sense we are all alone, seeing our lives in individual terms where we have more choices but less security in every choice we make. It is really quite depressing to think that we are all so...
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