Generational Analysis: Description, Explanation, and Theory1
An adequate strategy in generational analysis must concern itself with at least three general matters: obtaining adequate descriptive data, explaining such data, and relating explanation to a general theory of generational differences and social change. At the descriptive level, generational differences at a given point in time may be associated with age, cohort, and/or interactional effects. The explanation of age, cohort, and interactional effects necessitates introducing additional variables and considerations into the basic descriptive model. Finally, in order for research on generational differences and social change to be most useful, empirical studies should be couched within a theoretical perspective.