Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison
greensh

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Generalizations and Generations

My wise friend </a></b></a>elegy_of_flames and I were recently talking about generational changes. I over emphasized the desire of each generation to "act-out" against the previous generations. Elegy said,
The idea that teenagers deliberately "act out" seems to be an explanation that's imposed on the phenomenon by incredulous adults who fail to understand their confused, hormonal offspring's behavior. I could be seeing this through rose-tinted goggles, but most of my fairly "dramatic" action a few years back were not prompted by a need to prove something to anyone, except possibly myself. (Note - most! I'm not claiming I've never acted rashly in my life.
I was so busted for making too broad of a generalization. Here's my take on the generalization thing. I use them a lot. To summarize and generalize is handy for talking about really big topics. In fact, it is about the only way the big topics can be talked about short of writing a novel. The trap of generalization is the overlooking of multiple, and possibly more accurate, generalizations. Here is an example. Let's say that I say that animals usually have four legs. I give "everyday" examples of dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits and so on. Well, I am so wrong. There are also two legged, eight legged, and six legged animals. The majority of animals are instead six-legged. I made a wrong generalization.

I have to admit I made an incorrect generalization while speaking with my astute friend. I thought about the matter more, realizing that there are many reasons that teenagers make a distinctive statement of identity. In fact, at the risk of misspeaking again, I realized that the changes in fashions were a good analogy to why generations look to change. Consider that individuals embrace changes in fashion for the following reasons:

. Change in season
. Inspired by role-model(s)
. Showing off the assets
. Old clothes worn out. New styles are all that is available
. Peer pressure - fit in with the crowd
. It's all about favorite colors
. It's laundry day
. Allergies!
. It's all about comfort
. Gained/Lost weight
. Too many people wearing a current style
. Nobody wearing new style
. Paris showed it last year
. New York showed it this year
. Wal*mart had it in stock
. You got it for Christmas/Birthday/Anniversary
. It is just so cool
. You willl shock the heck out of people
. Because you want to!

Generations shift their interests in clothes, language, body modifications, and habits. These shifts are analogous to the reasons people change fashions. Food for thought via generalization deconstruction. Thanks Elegy!
Tags: generalizations, generations
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