Regeneration: Generations Remediated

Joseph Wachelder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper proposes a model for a dynamic and constructivist perspective on generations. To study synchronous, contemporary interrelations between technology, media and generations, many different methodologies are available. Yet many historical, diachronic studies are marred by flaws and ambiguities in their use of 'generation' as a concept. To counter those problems, this paper argues for a process-oriented approach of generations - one which is modelled after Bolter and Grusin's remediation. By distinguishing three mechanisms - immediate generation, immediate regeneration and hypermediate regeneration - the model of regeneration is linked to three theoretical concerns: the long-standing dilemmas in the sociological study of generations, the controversy around technological determinism in technology studies and contemporary challenges in research of ageing and youth cultures. The feasibility of the regeneration approach is elucidated by applying it to toys, especially educational toys. This paper also provides a methodology for the historical study of generations interacting with media and technology by recommending the combined use of three types of biographies as source materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-903
Number of pages21
JournalTime & Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019


  • Generation
  • LIFE
  • TIME
  • ageing
  • biographies
  • educational toys
  • nostalgia
  • regeneration
  • remediation
  • technological determinism
  • technology
  • toys
  • youth cultures

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