My Blog as a Research Tool ?

09Oct03

I am sick of hearing about Today’s Youth (not me, but the generation after mine. I have a sneaky feeling I am no longer in the ‘youth’ definition of popular media).

There has been so much research on them already…. I have had it up to here with terms like gratification and consumerism. Anyways, ever since they voted Anil Ambani as their icon, I have lost all interest in them. Even worse, I lost my faith in them since they nominated Smriti Malhotra as a potential icon….. The Star-Plusisation of the younger generation ?!

I have been wading through many Indian blogs…. And came across quite a few Indian bloggers born in the mid-70’s..… What I see as the post-flower, pre-mouse generation…..

I was born in 1975…. And I am interested in understanding my age cohorts. The concept of age cohorts was highlighted by Rama Bijapurkar a few years ago in discussing cultural changes in India post liberalization. I’ve attempted to loosely explain the concept of age cohort : a group of people (who may be born around the same time frame) who grow up sharing the same social, cultural, political, educational experiences…

The concept of age cohorts is significant because this shared set of experiences determine the values and beliefs they will carry all their life.

For instance, the post-war baby boomers in the US.

Coming back to my age cohort, I am very curious about what experiences we grew up sharing…. That has shaped they way we are today… As my mind rambled along these lines, I’ve put down a few thoughts….

Internet ? Technology ? : No, I don’t think we grew up with technology. We approached it as grown ups. (I do not consider a job with an IT company and being able to send e-mail as being “tech?). I am talking about being born internet-savvy, the way kids are today……

Communication ? : We saw the STD booth boom in the country….. is that significant ?
Or is it mobile technology ? Are we the typical sms generation ?

Liberalization ?: Certainly, we witnessed the birth of McD and the re-birth of Coke in India…. Reebok and Ford….. Is this significant ?

The Y2K demand ?

Coalition Governments ? Our youth witnessed the end of single majority parties and the birth of coalition politics….. the shape of things to come and stay…..

Private TV channels ? MTV ? The Bold and the Beautiful ? Quick Gun Murugan ? Cyrus Broacha ? Or is it Giant Robot ?

The end of Angry Amitabh and the entry of Shah Rukh Khan ?

Or is it a combination of all these ?
I don’t know…..

My thoughts may be incoherent…. Since they are still raw thoughts….

I thought it might be fun to share ‘growing up’ with others who grew up elsewhere in the country at the same time……… I do not want to get into a stricter definition of age limits… is too traumatic for me 🙂

The idea being :

1. to understand the events, ideas, values that have shaped my generation (mid-70’s born, the over-20, under-30s)

2. to experiment with the possibility of blogs as a tool for primary research….. blogs as a tool for expression, blogs as a tool for lobbying….. and now this?

Personally, I would consider this data more credible because participation is voluntary and not coerced or coaxed as in case of conventional research

Something like Dina’s Youth Spotting ideas……

I want to keep this open for a couple of weeks….. Humour me….. Do take this seriously and write in with your ‘cohort’ experiences….. do pass it on to other bloggers / surfers you know of this ‘generation’……

I would love to see this research grow and see if something meaningful can be made out of it…..

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