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Definition of Third-Generation

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  • J. Metcalfe
    Hi Everyone, I am working on a term paper for university and need a consensus on the specific genealogical definition of third-generation when it is used,
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 26, 2007
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      Hi Everyone,
       
      I am working on a term paper for university and need a consensus on the specific genealogical definition of "third-generation" when it is used, for example, to say "I am third-generation _________" (e.g. Canadian, English, French, Ukrainian, etc.). 
       
      Does it mean that:
       
      a) both of a person's parents were born in the reference country, or
      b) at least one parent and one grandparent were born in the reference country, or
      c) both grandparents were born in the reference country, or
      d) something else entirely (please elaborate).
       
      I would like to get as many responses as possible, since individual impressions of what the term means are as important to my paper discussion as the formal definition (which I also haven't been able to find in the dictionary - only something about computer technology - go figure ;0)
       
      Thank you,
      Joyce Metcalfe


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    • Judith Rempel
      See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation which speaks properly to the meaning of generation. It is used casually in several ways. 3rd generation Canadian
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 26, 2007
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        See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generation which speaks properly to the meaning of generation.

        It is used casually in several ways.  "3rd generation Canadian" IS ambiguous/imprecise.

        People use it as a 'stand in" for the more complete: 
        • "3rd generation born Canadian" - the meaning is perfectly clear - I, my parent and my grandparent are all born here.
        • "3rd generation living in Canada" - the meaningis also perfectly clear - I, my parent and my grandparent all have lived in Canada.
        If a scholarly paper wanted to use the casual/popular phrasing, it would be sensible to provide a definition in a footnote such as "For purposes of this paper, "3rd generation Canadian is meant to represent ...."

        P.S.  regarding the facts of a couple not both being born in the reference country - that does add one more bit of ambiguity.  The footnoting solution will look after this - as long as YOU are consistent in your paper.

        In Kinship,

        Judith Rempel

        Library & Archives Coordinator

        queries@... & rempel@...

         

        Mennonite Historical Society of Alberta

        web: http://www.mennonitehistory.org

        Blog: http://mennonites.typepad.com/mennonite_historical_soci/

         

        Mennonite Genealogy Data Index

        http://www.mennonites.ca



        J. Metcalfe wrote:
        Hi Everyone,
         
        I am working on a term paper for university and need a consensus on the specific genealogical definition of "third-generation" when it is used, for example, to say "I am third-generation _________" (e.g. Canadian, English, French, Ukrainian, etc.). 
         
        Does it mean that:
         
        a) both of a person's parents were born in the reference country, or
        b) at least one parent and one grandparent were born in the reference country, or
        c) both grandparents were born in the reference country, or
        d) something else entirely (please elaborate).
         
        I would like to get as many responses as possible, since individual impressions of what the term means are as important to my paper discussion as the formal definition (which I also haven't been able to find in the dictionary - only something about computer technology - go figure ;0)
         
        Thank you,
        Joyce Metcalfe


        Make free worldwide PC-to-PC calls. Try the new Yahoo! Canada Messenger with Voice
      • J. Metcalfe
        Hi Everyone, I think most of the results to my original post on this topic are now in, so I thought I d give a summary. The term is really open to a number
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 28, 2007
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          Hi Everyone,
           
          I think most of the "results" to my original post on this topic are now in, so I thought I'd give a summary.  The term is really open to a number of different interpretations.  The most popular response was (b); Items (a) and (c) were chosen more infrequently, but each an equal number of times.  Several people interjected ideas that I hadn't previously considered.  Item (c) was worded improperly - we all, of course, have 4 grandparents.  I apologize for that and, hopefully, my error didn't skew the results too much.
           
          Option (a) was a definition used by Stats Canada in a recent Ethnic Diversity Survey.  It's kind of tricky, but it's major difference is that it considers the immigrant to constitute the "first-generation."  My initial reaction was that I defined "third-generation" differently than they did and that this would affect how I interpreted the reports based on study of the EDS.  This poll, along with discussions on the Rootsweb message boards and elsewhere on the web about "Who's on First?" show that there is a considerable split of opinion on the issue and that there really is no definitive understanding of the term - although we all tend to use it (perhaps somewhat casually).
           
          If anyone wants to keep the discussion going, I won't mind in the least ;0)
           
          Thank you all for responding.
          Joyce

          "J. Metcalfe" <roots938@...> wrote:
          Hi Everyone,
           
          I am working on a term paper for university and need a consensus on the specific genealogical definition of "third-generation" when it is used, for example, to say "I am third-generation _________" (e.g. Canadian, English, French, Ukrainian, etc.). 
           
          Does it mean that:
           
          a) both of a person's parents were born in the reference country, or
          b) at least one parent and one grandparent were born in the reference country, or
          c) both grandparents were born in the reference country, or
          d) something else entirely (please elaborate).
           
          I would like to get as many responses as possible, since individual impressions of what the term means are as important to my paper discussion as the formal definition (which I also haven't been able to find in the dictionary - only something about computer technology - go figure ;0)
           
          Thank you,
          Joyce Metcalfe

          Make free worldwide PC-to-PC calls. Try the new Yahoo! Canada Messenger with Voice


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