Have you ever felt that older people don't understand your problems? Do you feel like younger people have no idea of what's really important? That's probably because there's a generational gap of experience. Because they're older, or younger, it seems you share no common ground.
A generation gap describes a vast difference in cultural norms between a younger generation and their elders. According to the dictionary definition, the generation gap occurs when older and younger people don’t understand each other because of their different experience, opinions, habits and behavior.
But despite the sharp divides between generations, it is possible to “bridge” the generation gap. Cross-generational friendships are common. Teens can gain a lot of wisdom from their grandparents and parents. Grandparents and parents can gain lots of new ideas from teens. We are all linked to our past and understanding the link can help our future.
As for the history of the term “generation gap”, it first appeared during 1960s and described the cultural differences between the “baby boomers” and their parents. This problem wasn’t new. But although history had always seen some degree of generational differences, during this era the differences between the two generations increased significantly in comparison to previous times. There were great differences in such matters as musical tastes, fashion, drug use, and politics. This situation may have been accelerated by the unprecedented size of the young baby boomer generation, which gave them a greater sense of power and influence than had been seen previously, and the younger generation rebelled against society norms to a previously unseen degree.
Several examples of generational differences were prominent during the period. Rock music and soul music, popular among the youth, was hated by their elders. Long hair on young males was frequently seen as a shocking act of rebellion against society norms by their parents. The protests against the Vietnam War on American college campuses contrasted sharply with the universal national support for Word War II that their parents had experienced. The sexual revolution and drug use caused significant friction in many areas of society.
A common catchphrase of that era among young people was “don’t trust anyone over 30”. This idea was also expressed by The Who in their song “My Generation”, in which the narrator sang, “Hope I die before I get old.” The influence of the baby boomers was so significant that the entire generation was named “Man of the Year” by Time magazine in 1966.
- gap – пробел, пропасть, расхождение
- to share – иметь что-то общее, разделять
- common ground – что-то общее
- elders – старшие
- habit – привычка
- sharp divides – резкие различия
- to bridge – построить мост над
- common – обычный, часто встречающийся
- to gain – получить
- wisdom – мудрость
- to be linked – быть связанным
- «baby boomers» – После войны был всплеск рождаемости. Отсюда название этого поколения.
- degree – степень
- significantly – значительно
- in comparison – по сравнению
- previous – предыдущий
- matters – вопросы
- taste – вкус
- unprecedented – беспрецедентный, не имеющий аналогов
- sense - чувство
- influence – влияние
- previously – ранее
- to rebel – восстать
- society - общество
- prominent – выдающийся, особенно заметный
- male – мужчина
- rebellion – восстание, протест
- sharply – резко
- significant - значительный
- catchphrase – популярная фраза
- to trust – доверять
- narrator – рассказчик
- entire – весь, целый
1) Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Say why you think so.
- Most parents ought to be stricter with their children. (stricter – строже)
- Summer holidays without parents are more enjoyable. (веселее)
- It’s best to have a good time before you get married because after that life is pretty boring. (pretty – довольно)
- I learn more from my friends of my age than I learn from my parents.
- Today’s young people are different from the young people of the past.
- I’d rather go to my parents for advice than to my friends.
- Most adults say one thing but do another. (adult - взрослые)
2) Answer the following questions
- It is said that the gap between parents and children is always widening. What do you think? (to widen – расширяться)
- What has changed most since your parents were children?
- What things do you think young people disagree with older people about most? Whose fault is it? (to disagree - расходиться во мнениях, fault - вина)
- How can parents keep the line of communication with children wide open?