Thursday, July 02, 2009

Generation Theory = Jungian Archetypes


Generation Theory = Jungian Archetypes by Sali Oguri, Pink Manhattan blog

My thoughts on Generation Theory correlating with Jungian Archetypes (4 Temperaments, Myers-Briggs (MBTI)) have been vindicated!

Here is the chart listing the 4 generational archetypes according to the above link:

IDEALIST - Prophet. An inner-driven, moralistic generation which comes of age during a period of spiritual awakening and develops a new creedal passion. The Jungian "Prophet" archetype is dominant.

REACTIVE - Artist. An alienated, cynical generation which challenges the ideals of their parents and develops into pragmatic, risk-taking adults. The Jungian "Artist" archetype is dominant.

CIVIC - Hero. An outer-driven, morally complacent generation which institutionalizes many of the ideals of the previous generations. The Jungian "Hero" archetype is dominant.

ADAPTIVE - Nomad. A hypocritical generation which coasts along on the accomplishments of the civics, laying the groundwork for a new idealist era. The Jungian "Nomad" archetype is dominant.


Compare that to the Kiersey Temperament Sorter: Four Temperaments

Idealists are introspective and cooperative.

Artisans are observant and pragmatic.

Guardians are observant and cooperative.

Rationals are introspective and pragmatic.


In MBTIspeak, those archetypes would correlate to:
Idealist (Prophet) = NF Idealists
Reactive (Artist) = SP Artisans
Civic (Hero) = SJ Guardians
Adaptive (Nomad) = NT Rationals

Here is the chart correlating years of birth with extraversion and introversion:

Introverted
1776-1798
1824-1844
1871-1891
1919-1940
1973-1991

Extroverted
1798-1824
1844-1871
1891-1919
1940-1973
1991-

Now, the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) connection to Generation Theory would be as follows:

Prophets and Heroes are Extraverted:
Idealist (Prophet) = ENFJ, ENFP
Civic (Hero) = ESFJ, ESTJ

Artists and Nomads are Introverted:
Reactive (Artist) = ISFP, ISTP
Adaptive (Nomad) = INTJ, INTP

If we leave out the E/I dichotomy, then:
Idealist - ENFJ, ENFP, INFJ, INFP
Reactive - ESFP, ESTP, ISFP, ISTP
Civic - ESFJ, ESTJ, ISFJ, ISTJ
Adaptive - ENTJ, ENTP, INTJ, INTP



The birth years and correlation to being Liberal or Conservative:

Liberal
1765-1787
1801-1816
1829-1841
1861-1869
1901-1919
1931-1947
1961-1978
1993-2010

Conservative
1787-1801
1816-1829
1841-1861
1869-1901
1919-1931
1947-1961
1978-1993
2010-2026

These birth years should tell you whether your generation is likely Extraverted /Introverted (or Feeling / Thinking - I'll have to ponder this area some more).

Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millenials, Silents - How does it all fit in? Here's a rundown of the Generations:


G.I. (Civic) 1901-1924 (24 years)

SILENT (Adaptive) 1925-1942 (18 years)

BOOM (Idealist) 1943-1960 (18 years)

THIRTEENTH
("Generation X") (Reactive) 1961-1981 (21 years)

MILLENNIAL
("Generation Y") (Civic)



But here's a different table: Generations in History at www.fourthturning.com.

G.I.
1901-1924
Hero

Silent
1925-1942
Artist

Boom
1943-1960
Prophet

Thirteenth
1961-1981
Nomad

Millennial
1982-200?
Hero ?



No matter which table you use, you can figure out how each Jungian archetypical generation comes in a predictable cycle. Read more about Personality Theories of Carl Jung to understand how they all fit into psychology and MBTI type descriptions.

Boomer = They could fit either of these type descriptions:

ENFJ (Extroverted feeling with intuiting): These people are easy speakers. They tend to idealize their friends. They make good parents, but have a tendency to allow themselves to be used. They make good therapists, teachers, executives, and salespeople.
INFJ (Introverted intuiting with feeling): These are serious students and workers who really want to contribute. They are private and easily hurt. They make good spouses, but tend to be physically reserved. People often think they are psychic. They make good therapists, general practitioners, ministers, and so on.

Gen X = Artist: ISFP (Introverted feeling with sensing): They are shy and retiring, are not talkative, but like sensuous action. They like painting, drawing, sculpting, composing, dancing -- the arts generally -- and they like nature. They are not big on commitment.

If we're to go with the Nomad type, then: INTJ (Introverted intuiting with thinking): These are the most independent of all types. They love logic and ideas and are drawn to scientific research. They can be rather single-minded, though. (Gen X is the first generation that studied sequential math (logic) as a requirement, and I can vouch for that)

This entry on Wikipedia is especially of interest to me as a Gen Xer, considering we fall under either Artist or Nomad: "The Artist-scientist is one of the Jungian archetypes in mythology. Like all of these archetypes, the artist-scientist is an abstraction of life and the human mind. While never as common as archetypes like the child or the Hero, the artist-scientist is immediately recognizable. They are a builder, an inventor, a seeker, a dreamer, and a thinker. Distracted by their own thoughts, they frequently have to be pulled in out of the rain. They are simultaneously vastly knowledgeable and yet innocent, impulsive yet cautious. They represent the wonder to be found in curiosity, and the dangers."

If the above applies to us as MBTI types, we could be INTJ (builder (of systems)), ENTP (inventor), INFP (seeker), INFJ (dreamer) or INTP (thinker). Because we are a niche group, the rare MBTI types would seem to fit the Gen X descriptions well.

Furthermore, the Silent Generation would be the same kind of niche group as Gen X.

Millenial = Civic: ESTJ (Extroverted thinking with sensing): These are responsible mates and parents and are loyal to the workplace. They are realistic, down-to-earth, orderly, and love tradition. They often find themselves joining civic clubs!

Read about the Hero, Prophet, Nomad and Artist archetypes: Generational Archetypes: Introduction, Lifecourse Associates www.lifecourse.com

What Are Archetypes? - www.tatsbox.com



And there you have it. I have two points to make:

1. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that past history doesn't always repeat itself, nor determine the future. It's one thing to analyze history, but to predict the future based on a theory of an unchanging cycle of world events, and the characters of those generations, is irrational.

2. Wouldn't it be more fun to figure out the Jungian archetypes of individuals and study relationship dynamics, rather than simplify to this degree, to make blanket stereotypes about entire groups based on age? Culture, as it turns out, doens't belong to one age group at a time, but can actually be shared among all ages, if we're openminded and have no aversion to unfamiliarity, change, or stepping outside one's neighborhood.

Please, intelligent people of all ages: let's not treat generation theory as anything but theory, and stop judging anyone based on this outdated paradigm. Let's embrace the multicultural reality instead of attempting to put everyone in a predictable box.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Please see my other post for additional commentary on Gen X education in the '80s: Generation X = Artist-scientist Jungian archetype?, Pink Manhattan blog