Generaties, herinnering en historiciteit | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 124, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163


Although ‘generation’ is a key concept in historiography, the problem of historicity has rarely been discussed within generational theory. In this article, I argue for a revision of generational thinking, which focuses on historical experience instead of political action. I start with a critical assessment of Karl Mannheims seminal essay ‘the Problem of Generations’ (1928). Although the core axiom of his theory – the primary importance of adolescent experiences for generational consciousness – is still valid, his historical materialist interpretation of generations is questionable as it leads to the fallacies of historicism. Alternatively, the imagined character of the generation is emphasized and a reinterpretation of the generational experience as an experience of historicity is proposed. Consequently, the generation is no longer understood as an agent of sociohistorical change, but as a meta-historical category in which the individual’s placement in history is both cognitively understood and socially mediated.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error