Reconceptualizing the generation in a digital(izing) modernity: digital media, social networking sites, and the flattening of generations

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

As digitalization binds society to an apparently perpetual acceleration, questions about the nature of time and speed have gained new urgency in the social sciences. Yet, theorizations of these issues have neglected their implications for social life and generations. Linking these lacunae, this article articulates how digital media and social networking sites (SNS) shape social life through cultural transformations in the generation. This article rationalizes predominant patterns of SNS user behaviors in the context of social theoretical and philosophical frameworks informed by Mannheim, Simmel, Adorno, Benjamin, Arendt, social presence, action, and acceleration theories to offer a relational reconceptualization of the generation as a set of social relations and processes for visualizing changing conceptions of time and speed in a digital (izing) modernity. This article introduces the concept of general and local generationing processes to articulate the processual nature of the generation and to assert that trends in SNS use and content production are underwritten by grammatical logics that collectively “flatten” separate traditional generations to form a cross-demographic and cross-temporal digital generation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-183
Number of pages21
JournalJournal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • communication and technology
  • digital media
  • generations
  • social networking sites
  • speed
  • time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology(all)

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