This paper considers some of the existing uses of the concept of ‘generation’ as applied in the context of forced migration research. It focuses on an analysis of two little known classics (Ryder 1965; Kertzer 1983) and argues in favour of a renewed interest in the relevance of the concept as an analytical tool. It suggests that conceptual rigour is a prerequisite to undertaking empirical research, particularly in the context of studying long term patterns of adaptation.

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