Given that we now live in a globalised commercialised connected world, is there an associated decrease in local identity?
I am wondering if my generation is possibly the last generation that has a sense of rootedness, an identity not associated with ones own character, a sense of where home is.
Increasingly we get information about how other people react to things from the internet, rather than the local community. People choose their information sources and people to discuss them with, depending on their social choices, rather than imposed by where they live. I don’t know whether this is a good or bad thing. However it seems to weaken the bond between geographical communities.
I remember when I moved away from the countryside as a young man and went to live in a city. i found myself looking for the local pub where you would get a mixture of people of all ages and professions drinking and talking together. I learnt that this doesn’t happen in cities, whereas it still does in pubs in small towns and villages. Is living in cities that first step away from a much longer rural subsistence tradition
Growing up in a rural community, there was a pressure to join in with local activities, such as the rugby club and the church. These were places which allowed people to be loud and open with their feelings in the first instance and quiet and reflective in the latter. There was a sense of tradition, a sense of maintaining these traditions as they worked well in serving a communities psychological needs of feeling included. This sense of community survived the twentieth century., a period of huge change in society.
what generations of people did in the latter twentieth century was question these traditions. There was a sense that with a rapidly changing economy and society, that traditions which had broadly worked well could perhaps do with being re-thought through. It offered opportunities for new traditions to develop amongst minority groups that were impossible for previous generations.
Traditions perpetuate as there is a sense that they are tried and tested and that new ideas are less tested. I would argue though that things do come to an end, change can obselete the advantages of tradition.
It is the young, the youth , who are less attached to traditions and grow with new technologies and changes in society (most notably the internet). they hear the older generation speak of traditions, yet struggle to see the advantages and are aware of the flaws, so often the young do not adopt the traditions and find alternatives.
There is a sense of the ‘elders’, a trust that the old who know the value of traditions over the course of their lifetimes. This trust in the ‘elders’ for my generation is lessened, simply due to changes that are of a different nature to changes of the past.
Writing this, I feel a sense that my generation is the transition. I feel a strong sense of local nationality, a wish to preserve some local traditions that are threatened but on the look out for alternatives and finding ways of doing things better. Yet I see this less in the generation coming behind me. Is the the younger generation and future generations, ones who are less rooted but more able to adapt to rapid changes?