Generation as a social-psychological research object: playing at home or an away match?



The article examines the methodological difficulties associated with studying of the generation category in social psychology. The history of studying the problems of generations and intergenerational conflicts in psychology and humanitarian disciplines is briefly analyzed, the conclusion is drawn about the vastness of both the theoretical concept and the blurriness of the methods of the empirical operationalization of the generation. Theoretically close constructs are given, allowing one to consider generational problems within the framework of other conceptual frameworks. Existing models and theories of generations, including popular science, are considered, their critical analysis is carried out. Some theoretical decisions are proposed that allow one to reduce the problems associated with the operationalization and study of the generation in social psychology.

General Information

Keywords: generation, generation theory, types of generations

Journal rubric: Theoretical Research

Article type: scientific article


Funding. This work was supported by grant RFBR No17-06-00980 «The historical and political factors of transformation of the collective memory and identity of the Russian society».

For citation: Rikel A.M. Generation as a social-psychological research object: playing at home or an away match?. Sotsial'naya psikhologiya i obshchestvo = Social Psychology and Society, 2019. Vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 9–18. DOI: 10.17759/sps.2019100202. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Aleksandr M. Rikel, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor at the Social psychology chair, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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