A generation is a group of people that are born and live around the same time. Each generation shapes itself by the people who choose their beliefs, behaviors, and basic attitudes. Being born around the same time, and growing up with similar childhoods, a generation begins to develop similar personas.
According to https://www.fourthturning.com/, generations are identified with specific archetypes that defines similar patterns in individuals. Over the course of centuries, there has been a recurring pattern of the four archetypes. There are four different archetypes: the hero, the artist, the prophet and the nomad. The hero are born after a spiritual awakening, where on the other hand, the nomad is born during a spiritual awakening. The artist archetype is born during a great war or historical crisis, while the prophet is born after a great war or crisis. For further information on each archetype visit www.lifecourse.com.
It was hypothesized by Talcott Parsons that society moves on when an availability and demand for social order rises or falls. This created a theory of having different phases in an era that counts up to four. These phases note the mood of the era and how a generation came of age. Each phase is named after an ordinal number with the word turing as its following.
According to www.lifecourse.com, each turning has its own description and a main generation archetype. The First Turning is time when individualism is weak, institutions are strong, and when the society is confident where they want to go. The most recent example of this turning would be post World War II. The main archetype of this turning was the artist archetype, and the group is also known as the Silent Generation, if born from 1925-1942.
The Second Turning is when institutions begin to be attacked due to the new personal and spiritual autonomy. People become tired from the high of social discipline and begin to seek personal authenticity. The most recent example would be the Consciousness Revolution during 1964-1984. The prophet is the main archetype for this turning because of their passionate idealism.
The Third Turning is the opposite of what the First Turning is: having weak and distrusted institutions and strong individualism. In this turning, society learns that they must change to enjoy life. The most recent event of the Third turning is the Long Boom and Culture Wars. The nomad is the main archetype of this turning, and they were also known as Generation X.
The Fourth Turning has been known for becoming new founding moments by redefining the national identity. The most recent event in America that can be defined as being apart of the Fourth Turning is the Great Recession of the 2000s. The main archetype of this turning is the hero archetype, and is also known in present time as the Millennial Generation.
If you are interested in further knowledge about this topic, you can read the book The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy – What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny, by William Strauss and Neil Howe.