Module 14 – Cohort/Period Effects Discussion

A Birth Cohort is a set of people who were born during the same time period and who face similar societal circumstances brought about by their position in the population’s age structure. Most of you belong to the “Generation Z” birth cohort (born after 1995).

Cohort Effects—people in the same birth cohort who experience life course events at roughly the same time.

Period Effects are the “unexpected historical events (wars, epidemics, natural disasters, economic depressions), changing political conditions, and major cultural trends that contribute to the unique shape and outlook of a birth cohort.

Answer the following questions:

1. As “Generation Z’ers”, focusing on the current Coronavirus crisis as a Period Effect, how has this crisis affected you? How has it changed your life, both temporarily and (thinking sociologically) “permanently”?

2. What adjustments have you made that will probably be long term (permanent?) adjustments in your everyday life? Speculate on how society changes as we experience this crisis.

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