Generations: The Time Machine in Theory and Practice challenges the fragmented and diverse use of the concept of generation commonly found in the social sciences. It approaches the concept in a manner that stretches the sociological imagination away from its orientation toward the present by building the concept of the passage of time into our understanding of the social. It proposes an innovative and exciting view of the field of generations, lifting it out from life course and cohort analysis, and reconstituting the area with fresh and dynamic ways of seeing. With its unique, intellectually innovative and sustained critical study of generational work, Generations will appeal to scholars across a range of social sciences and humanities, and will be of particular interest to social theorists and anthropologists, as well as sociologists of social history, consumption, identity and culture.
'This is a major contribution to the study of generations. Drawing on a comprehensive review of the theoretical context for generations in the study of time, Judith Burnett presents a powerful conceptualisation of the sociological idea of the generation. An innovative typology of generations is illustrated by case studies of the First World War generation and the post-war baby boomers. This is a fascinating study that deserves to have a major impact on future research.' John Scott, University of Plymouth, UK