BLUF

Generational labels do not capture the diversity of a generation, but they shape perceptions—defining somebody as Gen-Z etc, might say more about the person labelling than the person labelled.

Summary

Sean Lyons notes that Generational Theory is based on the argument that generational groups share traits in common and have similar formative experiences. Worth considering whether this can only be applied to people from advanced industrialised economies. Generational labels might be an unavoidable factor of modern life, but Lyons asks are such labels useful? For some people, labelling can reduce the complexity of social change into an easily understood and simple caricature of a generation. Lyons notes that younger people are less likely to see themselves as being defined by when they were born. Further,  the evidence that a generation shares common traits seems to be inconclusive, as most differences between the generations are relatively insignificant. Noting that it is generally unacceptable to define behaviour for example in terms of gender or ethnicity—consider whether it is fair to define somebody in terms of when they were born?