Asteroid-Effect in Society: The Formation of a Mannheim-type Historical Generation Post-COVID-19
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Institute for Political Science, Centre for Social Sciences Budapest.
ELTE Faculty of Education and Psychology
Publication date: 2022-09-15
Polish Sociological Review 2022;219(3):315-330
Our conceptual paper argues that the COVID-19 pandemic has created conditions for the constitution of a new historical generation in Mannheimian terms. Current attempts in the sociology of youth to reconcile structure and agency with the concept of generation provide good starting points for interpreting a historical event such as the COVID-19 pandemic. While generations are not to be understood as homogeneous groups, constituting events can be compared to an asteroid that changes the trajectory of each social group. Thus, the concept of asteroid-effect helps us to overcome oversimplifying generational interpretations and to examine the effects of generation-forming events with an eye on structural inequalities. Our study provides an overview of the classical generational theory of Mannheim in light of some contemporary approaches. Based upon existing information, we illustrate how the generation-forming events can be interpreted and how structural inequalities can be considered.
The authors received no financial support for the authorship, and publication of this article. The research is related to the High-risk Post-covid project (2021/19) of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
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