Graduate Research Papers


Graduate Research Paper (UNI Access Only)


Conflict of generations--Social aspects; Nonprofit organizations--Social aspects;


Perhaps it is ironic that each generation will mock the norms of the last yet closely follow the rules that are put into place by the current generation (Thoreau, n.d.). The great American philosopher and naturalist, Henry David Thoreau, certainly found this to be something of a paradox in his study of American culture. What exactly are the characteristics that define a generation? Can they be found, and how do the characteristics that appear for one generation differentiate from previous generations? Is there a difference to be found and, if there is, what does it say about the generations that preceded or those to come? To begin a study on generations, an examination of the characteristics and customs of the generation must be revealed.

More importantly, for this project, an analysis of each generation in regard to philanthropy and the workplace will be studied. What are the habits and conventions of each generation that contribute to the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes toward giving back and the nonprofit sector? In this complex, fast-paced, and ever changing world that we live in today, how do different generations work together and how do they begin to embrace the same workplace customs and habits? Whether you lean toward the nature or nurture side of the psychological argument of how we become the people we become, it is inevitable that we will be influenced by our environment. The perspectives we take forward are a direct result of the environment in which we find ourselves. Furthermore, each individual collectively makes a contribution toward the traditions of their generation and, therefore, understanding a specific timeframe can help to understand a people and a generation.

A generation can be described as “a group of people born and living during the same time” (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, n.d., If this definition is accepted, then the idea follows that these individuals would share certain cultural attitudes and norms. The individuals would experience similar situations during a similar context of time and particular age. There are three American generations that will be focused upon in the study of this research. They are: Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Generation Y (Williams, Page, Petrosky, & Hernandez, 2010)

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services


Division of Leisure, Youth and Human Services

First Advisor

Rodney Dieser

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (41 pages)



File Format


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