A generation is "all of the people born and living at about the same time, regarded collectively". It can also be described as, "the average period, generally considered to be about thirty years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children of their own". In kinship terminology, it is a structural term designating the parent-child relationship. It is also known as biogenesis, reproduction, or procreation in the biological sciences.
"Generation" is also often used synonymously with cohort in social science; under this formulation it means "people within a delineated population who experience the same significant events within a given period of time". Generations in this sense of birth cohort, also known as "social generations", are widely used in popular culture, and have been the basis for sociological analysis. Serious analysis of generations began in the nineteenth century, emerging from an increasing awareness of the possibility of permanent social change and the idea of youthful rebellion against the established social order. Some analysts believe that a generation is one of the fundamental social categories in a society, while others view its importance as being overshadowed by other factors including class, gender, race, and education, among others.