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File:Baby Mother Grandmother and Great Grandmother.jpg

An infant, his mother, his maternal grandmother, and his great-grandmother. Thus there are four generations of one family in this photograph.

Generation (from the Greek γενεά), also known as procreation, is the act of producing offspring.

A generation can also be a stage or degree in a succession of natural descent as a grandfather, a father, and the father's son comprise three generations.

A generation can refer to stages of successive improvement in the development of a technology such as the internal combustion engine, or successive iterations of products with planned obsolescence, such as video game consoles or [mobile phones.

In biology, the process by which populations of organisms pass on advantageous traits from generation to generation is known as evolution.

Familial generation

It is important to distinguish between familial and cultural generations. A familial generation is defined as the average time between a mother's first offspring and her daughter's first offspring. The generation length is 25.2 years in the United States as of 2007[1] and 27.4 years in the United Kingdom as of 2004[2].

Cultural generation

A cultural generation refers to the cohort of people whose youth was shaped by a particular set of events and trends. 20th-century cultural generations are shorter than familial generations.

See also

External links


  1. U.S. Census Bureau 2007, Facts for features: Mother's Day, retrieved November 30, 2007.
  2. "More women have a late pregnancy", BBC News, December 17, 2004, retrieved November 30, 2007.
  • William Strauss and Neil Howe (1991) Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584-2069, ISBN 0-688-11912-3
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