29 December 2010

Knowing Your Cohorts

If you were to identify the main characteristics you have in common with particular types of people, would you refer to those people as belonging to your cohort?

If you were to generalise about yourself in relation to the groups to which you belong, how would you describe those groups and your relationships within them?

How do you decide whether or not a person has something in common with you, and even an affinity with your beliefs, preferences and cultural values?

The topic of general statistical groupings, also known as cohorts, can be useful in a range of research fields, some of which may or may not be of use to the people whose characteristics form the basis of the research in question.

Perhaps, like me, you would feel uncomfortable if your personal details were collected and divulged for marketing purposes.  Do you feel, as I do, that it is an invasion of your privacy?  Would you feel the same way if the same information is used to research health issues?

Here are some Wikipedia articles to consider:

Cohort (statistics)


Demographic profile

Market segmentation


Do you belong to one or more cohorts in common with me?  Many of the postings in this blog show that people can be categorised in a variety of ways, some of which may involve uncomfortable stereotyping, or even prejudice.  Have you ever been labelled and/or named in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable?

Here are some of my earlier blog posts you may like to consider:

Unfortunate connotations

Dear visitor

Name games and the wider world

Are you a patient patient?

Age and identity - part one

Menial roles, higher goals and social enterprise

Identity politics

In the name of freedom


World class

Cultural identity

Environment and genetics

Super banana woman

Age-based cohorts are frequently assessed in marketing and in politics.  For example, in non-European western countries with large migrant populations, such as the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, there are several social and cultural similarities.  How many can you identify?  What are the characteristics in common within a particular age cohort in those societies, and how are they to be compared with those in other countries?

Language-based cohorts exist in many societies.  Is English your first language, or is it one you have acquired outside a family relationship?  How do the meanings of words differ depending on the previous experiences of the user?  Does the word "cohort" have several meanings that can be used in different ways?

Here are some more Wikipedia links to consider:

Cohort model in psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics

Cohort study in longitudinal research

British birth cohort studies

Entrepreneurial mindset

Baby boomer

Strauss-Howe generational theory

Generation gap

Beat Generation

Intergenerational equity

Work-life balance


Digital divide

Here is different sort of link to consider:

From University College London

I find it interesting to discover how and why people think and act differently.  The age group I find most interesting is probably my own, especially those who had their first full-time experience of employment and independence in the era I did.  My first "proper" job was in London in 1982, when unemployment in the United Kingdom reached the highest it had been since the second world war.

I consider my main age cohort to be those people, from whatever background and whatever country, who were aged between 18 and 25 in 1982.  What were you doing around that time, if you were born at all?  Are you in my age cohort? Were you born between 1957 and 1964?

Wikipedia article about the year 1982

Regardless of your cohort, you may like to visit some more of my relevant blog posts:

About your mind

The serious subject of funny names

Images, half-truths and realities

Wedgwood, Darwin and me

Reflecting on identity


The poetry of personality

I am likely to take a break from writing By Any Other Name soon.  It is why this blog post is quite long.  It has plenty of ideas to think about, I hope!

Do you believe that your ideas about normality have something to do with the cohorts to which you belong?  Is your brain "wired" in such a way that you expect certain views to be considered as normal and others to be thought of as deviant?

Here are some more of my blog posts to consider:

Behaviour, identity and hormones

Age and identity - part two

Age and identity - part three

How to be delightfully surprising

On being popular

Respecting limits

The gender agenda

Introverts are cool

A feast of languages

Will you be between the ages of 14 and 23 in 2011?  

If you were born between 1988 and 1997, you have reached a crucial time in your life for the development of your future beliefs, hopes, dreams, and your personality.  I hope this blog may help you to explore your identity in a wide variety of ways.  If you find it helpful, please let me know!

Will you be between the ages of 24 and 28 in 2011?

If you were born between 1983 and 1987, what have been the most important influences on your life, and your identity, in the past ten years?  What are your hopes and plans for the future direction of your life?

Will you be between the ages of 29 and 34 in 2011?

If you were born between 1977 and 1982, how have your life experiences differed from those of your parents?  How do your attitudes towards parenting differ from those of your own parents?  How does your financial situation compare with older generations of your family?

Will you be between the ages of 35 and 46 in 2011?

If you were born between 1965 and 1976, have you developed any habits in life that you would like to change in some way?  How do you develop an awareness of yourself and the direction of your life?  Is your life too busy or too boring?  What are the most wonderful aspects of your life at present?

Will you be between the ages of 47 and 54 in 2011?

If you were born between 1957 and 1964, welcome to my own age cohort grouping!  How do you usually interact with the digital world?  Are you interested in the same types of topics as me?  Do we share some interests in common? (You may like to keep scrolling down the screen to the end of this page to find out more about my interests.)

Will you be between the ages of 55 and 65 in 2011?

If you were born between 1946 and 1956, you are in the age group I consider as my prospective "clients".  Have you worked out how you would like to make the most of your retirement years?  Have you done much reflecting on your life - past, present and future?  Would you like to develop some skills to help you to find the process more enjoyable and even delightful? 

Will you be over 65 in 2011?

How do you usually use digital technologies?  Are there ways you have found them to make your life easier, or even more difficult?  And what have you found most useful and interesting about my blog postings?

Here are a few more of my blog posts to consider:

Is nomenclature a nuisance?

Family honour and freedom

Entertainment, friendship and identity

Faces from the past

Origins of family names

Neanderthal friends

All the world's a stage

Mistaken identity and identity confusion

Sitting comfortably

Fronts and face values

Via, Veeya, Vyah

The serious subject of funny names

Another you

Theories of cultural identity

In the name of truth

How do you name your own age cohort, and does it match with the years I have given to the ones I find useful? 

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