The Drawbacks of Generational Framing

What appears to be a Black Muslim family with a grandmother, mother, and daughter Werner Pfennig/Pexels

Placing someone in a “generation” based on their age may do more harm than good; it can feed stereotypes and conflict and create division.

“Generational framing sanctions and supports age segregation, which makes us more likely to accept age divides and inequities as ‘just the way things are’ instead of questioning the grip of age-group groupthink on our policies and prospects. It also fosters age stereotypes — how could any generalization about millions of similar-age people possibly be accurate? — which delude and divide us. Most damagingly, ‘generation’ is used to exaggerate what age cohorts have in common and how they differ, in order to encourage conflict and legitimize inequity: the myth of intergenerational conflict.”