Intergenerational Communication: Piecing the

Intergenerational Communication:
Piecing the Styles Together
Rebecca Barsetti, Marsha Cowan, Brandon Lance, Courtney Pike
 Introduction
 Ice Breaker
 Talking about my generation
Veterans / Matures
Generation X
Generation Y / New Millenials
 The Communication Predicament of Aging Model
 Effective ways of communication
 Quiz
 Communication Accommodation Theory
 Activity
“The greatest discovery of any
generation is that a human being can
alter his life by altering his attitude.”
- William James
Talking About Generations
• Veterans / Matures
– Makes up 5% of workforce
– “Sacrifice”
• Boomers
– makes up 45% of workforce
– “Work”
Talking About Generations
• Generation X
– Loyal to people not to companies
– Carpe Diem approach
• Generation Y / New Millenials
– Technologically savvy
– “Go get it” and “Why not me?” attitude
Encounter Older Person
Recognition of Old
Age Cues
Loss of personal control
and self-esteem
------------------------------------Lessened psychological
activity and social
Predicament of
Aging Model
(Nussbaum, et al., 2005)
Constrained opportunities
for communication
------------------------------------Reinforcement for agestereotyped behaviors
Modified Speech
Behavior Toward the
Older Person
“Each generation imagines itself to be
more intelligent than the one that went
before it, and wiser than the one that
comes after it.”
- George Orwell
Communication Accommodation Theory
• “People tend to mirror each other’s communication styles to
display liking and respect” (Coupland, Coupland, & Giles,
• Stereotypes
• Accommodate
• Convergence
• Divergence
• Overaccommodation
“The influence of individual character
extends from generation to generation.”
- Macleod
Communicating Between
• What the other generations say about Generation Y:
– Silents:
• they have good manners, they’re smart little critters, they need to
toughen up, they watch too much T.V. with crude language and violence
– Baby Boomers:
• they’re cute, they need more discipline from their parents, they can set
the time on the VCR!, they need to learn to entertain themselves; they
need too much attention, can they do my web page for me?
– Generation X:
• Neo boomers, here we go again – another self-absorbed generation of
spoiled brats
“Every generation needs a new
- Thomas Jefferson
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Role of Age Stereotypes in Interpersonal Communication. Handbook of
Communication and Aging Research, 91-114.
• Marston, C (2007). Motivating the "What's in it for Me?" Workforce:
Manage Across the Generational Divide and Increase Profit. Hoboken, New
Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
• McCroskey, J. C., & Richmond, V. P. (2000). Applying Reciprocity and
Accommodation Theories to Supervisor/Subordinate Communication.
Journal of Applied Communicatin Research. 28, 278.
• Nussbaum, J. F., Pitts, M. J., Huber, F. N., Krieger, J. L. R., & Ohs, J. E. (2005).
Ageism and Ageist Language Across the Life Span: Intimate Relationships
and Non-intimate Interactions. Journal of Social Issues. 61, 287-395.
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Communication World. 25, 19-22.
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Perspectives, 162.