Intergenerational vs Intragenerational: Difference and Comparison

Intergenerational and intragenerational are descriptive phrases that relate to processes that occur throughout time. They are commonly encountered in social and financial debates.

These phrases are frequently used in conjunction with social transportation, fairness, and other issues.

Intergenerational refers to something that occurs across generations, whereas intragenerational refers to something that exists between members of a single generation.

The following topics go deeper into these distinctions.

Key Takeaways

  1. Intergenerational mobility refers to changes in social or economic status between different generations within a family, while intragenerational mobility occurs within an individual’s lifetime.
  2. Intergenerational mobility assesses the influence of parental socioeconomic status on children’s outcomes, while intragenerational mobility focuses on an individual’s progress or setbacks.
  3. Intergenerational mobility takes a longer-term perspective, whereas intragenerational mobility examines shorter-term changes in status.

Intergenerational vs Intragenerational

The difference between intergenerational and intragenerational is that intergenerational mobility occurs from one generation to the next, while intragenerational mobility occurs throughout one’s lifespan. Intergenerational has a broader concept that includes more differences in a situation as several terms are associated with it than intragenerational. 

Intergenerational vs Intragenerational

Intergenerational is derived from the Latin words “inter” (between) and “generare” (to beget). It’s an adverb for something that happens between generations.

For example, intergenerational mobility refers to the transfer of social status from one generation to the next, as in the case of John, a now successful middle-class businessman who was born into a low-income household.

Intergenerational transition exists between one’s parents and their socioeconomic level.

Intragenerational is derived from the Latin words “intra” (within) and “generare” (to beget). It is an adjective that refers to an event that occurs within a generation.

For example, in intragenerational mobility, a shift in social standing happens during a person’s lifetime.

In the above example, Ben’s socioeconomic status move from destitute boyhood to well-off adulthood is intragenerational.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIntergenerationalIntragenerational
DefinitionOccurs across generations.Between members of a particular generation.  
Derived from“Inter” and “generare”.“Intra” and “generare”.
ConflictA dispute or confrontation between generations.Conflict happens within generations.
TerminologyMore terminologies are associated.Fewer terminologies are associated.
DifferencesMore variances in a situation.Fewer variances in a situation.

What is Intergenerational?

The social movement or mobility that occurs from one generation to the next is referred to as intergenerational mobility.

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In other terms, this is when a kid achieves a greater or worse social position than his or her parents.

For example, the kid of a factory worker may become a doctor; this is an example of a child moving from a lower to a higher status.

Furthermore, mobility in this phenomenon is assessed by the socioeconomic condition of the parents and adult children: employment, wages, social class, and so on.

Additionally, intergenerational mobility refers to the ability of income levels to fluctuate between generations.

In this phenomenon, children have the chance to rise above their socioeconomic beginnings and achieve a position that is not determined by their parents.

For example, if there were no intergenerational mobility in a society, all children from poor households would grow up to be impoverished adults, whereas all children from wealthy families would grow up to be wealthy children.

Furthermore, intergenerational mobility is frequently employed as a measure of equitable opportunity as well as a means of increasing economic efficiency.

It’s simple to see how these intergenerational connections provide a circular pattern of love, caring, and support among all family members.

Children and teenagers have improved social skills and greater consistency in their everyday lives, which can help them perform better in school and avoid unwanted influences.

Similarly, the elderly who are close to their children and grandchildren are frequently healthier, less lonely, and more engaged in their communities.

Growing intergenerational connections with others may provide a unique view of life, as older generations help younger generations understand what to expect in their futures and provide advice to ensure they are living their best lives.

In exchange, a younger person can assist an older person in becoming a little more adventurous, breaking them out of their everyday routines.

These various viewpoints and attitudes to life can benefit both parties.

What is Intragenerational?

Intragenerational mobility focuses on the social movement that occurs during a person’s lifespan. In other words, social mobility occurs during one’s life.

Intragenerational is derived from the Latin words “intra” (meaning “within”) and “generare” (meaning “to beget”).

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The movement through a social hierarchy or stratification system is referred to as social mobility.

There are different intragenerational terms, such as Intragenerational conflict and Intragenerational equity.

This conflict or confrontation (sometimes incorporating discrimination) between generations, such as between children or the elderly, is known as Intragenerational conflict.

Intragenerational equity is concerned with the fairness of persons belonging to the same generation.

Complex causes of conflict, such as those focusing on generational conflicts, can be difficult to resolve, in part because both deep- and surface-level issues are at work, and so the particular reasons for tension to exist are not always evident to participants.

The link between parents’ socioeconomic level and their children’s socioeconomic status as adults is referred to as intergenerational social mobility.

To put it another way, mobility indicates how individuals progress up (or down) the social ladder compared to their parents.

Main Differences Between Intergenerational and Intragenerational

  1. Intergenerational refers to something that occurs across generations, whereas intragenerational refers to something that remains between members of a particular generation.
  2. Intergenerational is derived from the Latin words “inter” (between) and “generare” (to beget). In comparison, intragenerational is derived from the Latin words “intra” (meaning “within”) and “generare” (meaning “to beget”).
  3. Intergenerational conflict is defined as a dispute or confrontation (containing bias) between generations, such as between parents and children or grandchildren and grandparents, whereas intragenerational conflict happens within generations, such as among children or the elderly.
  4. Intergenerational is related to more terminology, whereas intragenerational is associated with fewer terms.
  5. There are greater variances in intergenerational scenarios than in intragenerational situations.
Difference Between Intergenerational and Intragenerational

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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7 thoughts on “Intergenerational vs Intragenerational: Difference and Comparison”

  1. It is interesting how this idea of mobility is broken into different dimensions! It provides a comprehensive view of the concept.


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