Generation Gap

2021-11-03 11:44

It is known that the phrase, '"Children these days are impolite/ was written on a Pyramid in Egypt. Accordingly, one can infer that a Generation Gap has been prevalent throughout time. Generation Gap indicates dissimilarity in values and beliefs between different generations. It is influenced by many factors such as intellectual capacity, language use, technological capacity and cultural sensitivity. To put it frankly, it is the difference of attitude and views of society between the young and the old. Even within the same family, the members may have different worldly values based on age and upbringing. Formerly, it was thought that the greatest generation gap was between grandparents and their grandchildren, but in fact, the two generations may have more commonalities and the potential to overcome their differences. It is apparent that the biggest clash of generations exists between parents and their children. As a result of parents having direct influences on the nurture of their children and children having a tendency to rebel, the greatest generational divide is between children and their parents.


The present Baby Boomer generation is most likely to experience Generation Gap with the strongest cultural impact. The world is rapidly changing with improvements in technology, medical care and quality of life as a whole. Following the Industrial Revolution, the Information Revolution contributes to the prevalent generational divide. After World War II, the development of computers entirely changed the lifestyle of the human race. The Baby Boomers, who had no experiences with computers during their school years, were expected to make use of computers in their workplace. Despite having this rudimentary knowledge in computers, modern computer experts more commonly exist in younger generations. On the other hand, Generation X which followed the Baby Boomers is brought up in a technologically advanced society. It is difficult to imagine a world without computers, smart phones and tablets. Everything can be done at the convenience of smart phones and tablets. Echo Boomers will be living as star players in an ubiquitous world. There is a Korean proverb that states, "Even rivers and mountains will be changed in 10 years/ In modern days, the technological advancement that can be achieved within 10 years is tremendous. This leads to the drastic impediment in communication between Baby Boomers and their children. The silly phrase of "Even twins feel generation gap" would also represent the speed of digital revolution.


The cohort is a group of individuals of the same age, born in similar times and share analogous experiences. Since they share similar desires and ideals, they have common values and behavior patterns. Today's generation is known as Generation Z. They are more familiar with computers and the mass media than printed books and newspapers. They are also obsessed with popular celebrities and yearn to be like them. They are connected via cell phones and the Internet. Moreover, they imitate celebrities' speech, action and style and they are easily influenced to get plastic surgery to look like them.

By analyzing current generation gaps, one can conclude that it is a complicated social structure with the coexistence of two different generations; the older generation with I9th century ideals and the young generation with 21st century ideals.


People living as an immigrant need to overcome culture shock to fit in to the new society. It is especially tough for first generation Koreans to deal with culture shock compared to their children who will grow up in Canada. Their children may also experience culture shock and as a result, their parents can empathize with the feeling of isolation.

Here is an example of culture shock. One day, a father scolds his daughter after seeing the dress she wore to go out. He asks, "Why are you wearing such a short skirt?" and that upset the daughter. She says, "Don't mind my skirt, you man!" After hearing "You man!" he misunderstands it as "you old man!" and got upset. It is easy to imagine what is going to happen next. The father becomes furious with his daughter for using such language. It is hard for the parent generation who were born and raised in Confucianism to accept the language based on the Western society culture. It is also hard for the children who were raised and received education in Canada to respect age rank and disciplines. The cultural difference between the parents and the children may cause conflict. One situation that may arise is when children report their parents to the police. Conversely, the parents may resent their children for not understanding their perspective.


Immigrants in Canada undergo certain social pressures living in a new country. They try to live their life under the stress of trying to fit in. Korean immigrants may feel as if they are on an isolated island living in Canada's multicultural society. Their life can be described as many small islands on an enormous lake. We need to consider the diversity of these islands and the cultures they represent. Moreover, it is important to consider whether Canadian-Korean immigrants are getting used to connecting with only Koreans society, since they are afraid of overcome language barriers and culture differences.

While children are different than parents, the children are accustomed to living in a multi-cultural life and western freewheeling life values. Even though their ethnicity is Korean, the environment for their growth is completely different than the parent generation. Although they live under the same roof, the generation gap is intensified since their lifestyle and habits are different.


Is there any solution to overcome the generation gap? The most effective solution is to focus on 'acquisition of computer use/ Now there are even less opportunities to communicate with people without using computers and the Internet, for example using SNS (Social Network Service). Parents and their children need to make an attempt to communicate with each other. While it is not easy to find common topics and interests to talk about, they both still need to try. If their children are students, parents can ask about their school life and about their interests and dreams. Additionally, parents can pay attention to what their children enjoy doing in their spare time. Instead of scolding them for playing games, they should talk about and play the game together. This would allow them to bond. Also the children need to try to understand the values of the parent generation. It is the same as having historical awareness.

In any case, cultures and values can trend as time passes. For instance, the values dominating an older period can resurface in subsequent generations. It is hard to overcome the effects of generation gap by oneself. Therefore, attending family healing and counseling programs and conversing with each other have positive effects. These services are provided by For You Telecare Family Service.

Jean Cho

Volunteer at FUTFS

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