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Bridging the Generation Gap

Overcoming Differences with Children and Grandchildren

HYPERLINK "http://pewsocialtrends.org/pubs/739/woodstock-gentler-generation-gap-music-by-age" \t "_blank" Recent research shows that the issues on which the generations differ frequently aren't ideological issues. More often they are simply variations in how the different generations live their lives, which makes bridging the generation gap much simpler. Here are some easy ways to get closer to children and grandchildren--and some that may not be so easy!

Bridging the Technology Gap

The greatest difference perceived between the generations is the way that they use technology. In a HYPERLINK "http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1455/millennial-generation-technological-communication-advances-societal-change" \t "_blank" 2009 survey, when asked whether technological advances - cell phones, the Internet, social networking sites and email - have made the world better, the pattern was clear: those aged 18 to 49 were more likely to respond in the affirmative than those aged 50+. Savvy grandparents can use this difference to ask for help in learning the new technology. It's probably best not to try to learn everything that the younger generation knows. The best strategy is to zero in on a few things that you would like to learn to do, such as managing photos online or downloading music, and enlist your children or grandchildren to teach you how to do them. The time together can be enjoyable, and you'll get props for being more open to technology than some of your peers.

I. Find the equivalents in the text:

Научно-технический прогресс; сайты социальных сетей; ответить утвердительно; понимающий; сосредоточить внимание исключительно на…; привлечь; вызывать уважение; ровесники.

II. Answer the questions:

1) What technological advances can your grandparents use?

2) Do you help your grandparents learn to use technological advances?

3) Do you think that differences in technological skills prevent you from communication with your grandparents?

Bridging the Music Gap

Another area in which young and old are reported to differ is their taste in music. Although young people love having their own kind of music, they also often enjoy sharing their musical tastes with others. Ask your children and grandchildren to play some of their favorite music for you and explain why they like it. You may be surprised to find that you like it as well. If you don't wish to hear explicit language, state that up front. You may also find that your children and grandchildren are big fans of your music. Rock is still the favored genre for all groups up to age 65. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix are popular among all age groups. So while Coldplay may leave you cold, you may still be able to find some areas of agreement in the oldies category.

I. Find the equivalents in the text:

Музыкальный вкус; разделять музыкальные вкусы; грубая речь; прямо заявить; любимый жанр; оставить равнодушным; старые шлягеры.

II. Answer the questions:

1) Do you know what music your parents and grandparents are funs of?

2) Do you share their musical tastes?

3) Do you agree that the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix are popular among all age groups? Are you a fun of their music?

4) Have you ever had about Coldplay?

5) Do you think that music can be an obstacle between generations?

Improving Social Tolerance

Correctly or incorrectly, older people are perceived as being less tolerant of races and groups that are different from themselves. Many of the older generation grew up in segregated schools. They may attend traditional churches that are unlikely to have minority members. They may have had only casual contact, through work or neighborhoods, with people belonging to different races and groups. If that is true of you, it's not too late to broaden your circle of friends. If your children and grandchildren have friends of different races and groups, ask to be introduced to them. The younger generation will appreciate your efforts, and your world may become more interesting.

I. Find the equivalents in the text:

Терпимость; быть терпимым по отношению к…; школы только для белых или только для черных; меньшинство; случайный контакт; микрорайон; расширить круг друзей; оценить усилия.

II. Answer the questions:

1) Do you think you are tolerant to different races and social groups?

2) Do you think you are more tolerant than your parents and grandparents? Do you discuss this problem with them?

3) What do you think of tolerance in the modern society?


Avoiding Hypocrisy

Older people who pretend to be morally superior may alienate the younger generation, according to one generation gap expert. In a HYPERLINK "http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=GfsjAAAAIBAJ&sjid=sREEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7178,1617120&dq=history+of+the+generation+gap&hl=en" \t "_blank" speech in 1969, anthropologist Margaret Mead, who wrote a book about the generation gap, said that "the young feel we're all hypocrites- every one of us. Parents set themselves up as models even if they aren't. It's as true in a New Guinea headhunters' village as here." According to Mead, the older generation probably used to get away with their act, until the modern press came along. The question of how much of our foibles and transgressions should be revealed to younger generations is an intriguing one. Reveal too little, and you risk being seen as one of those hypocrites Mead mentions. Tell too much, and you risk losing any moral authority that you possess.

More often than not, however, young people don't need to know that their parents and grandparents have feet of clay. It's not so much a matter of what they want to hear as what they don't want to hear. They don't want to hear that people of the older generation always respected their elders, obeyed authority and were perfect citizens. The younger generation is smart enough to know that that's not true. To avoid being seen as hypocritical, don't paint the older generation as perfect and the younger generation as going to the dogs. The truth is always more complex than that.

I. Find the equivalents in the text:

Лицемерие; быть нравственнее; оттолкнуть; приводить в качестве примера; охотники за скальпами; выходить сухим из воды; появляться; недостатки; правонарушения; интересный; чаще всего; слабое место; уважать старших; подчиняться властям; быть хорошим гражданином, лететь в тартарары.

II. Answer the questions:

1) Do older people often set themselves up as models for you?

2) Do you sometimes feel the hypocrisy of the older generation? Give the example.

3) Do you think that in general the older generation is morally superior to the younger?

III. Write a composition on Generation Gap using the information and words from the texts I and II. Give your own examples. Express your point of view.


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