Generation Y and the concept of family. An introductory study of the unique characteristics of Generation Y with specific reference to the concept of family within the context of the URCSA

Van Rooi, Leslie (2011)

CITATION: Van Rooi, L. 2011. Generation Y and the concept of family. An introductory study of the unique characteristics of Generation Y with specific reference to the concept of family within the context of the URCSA. Nederduitse Gereformeerde teologiese Tydskrif / Dutch Reformed Theological Journal, 52(1):43-51, doi:10.5952/52-0-35.

The original publication is available at http://ngtt.journals.ac.za

Article

In South Africa the identity of the so called Generation Y (Millennials) is discussed and studied frequently in the broader spectrum of the social sciences. Generally these studies indicate that this generation, with its keen tendency towards the family, has a unique understanding of family life, identity(-ies), and the church, amongst others. The effect of the abovementioned comes to particular expression in the context of a residentially orientated university like Stellenbosch University. This article will explore Generation Y’s understanding of family. The author will give attention not only to the specific understanding of family but will also ask the question if this understanding allows for families as safe spaces where human dignity is fostered. The effect of the identity and culture of the Generation Y on South African university campuses will briefly be noted. In a second instance the role and value ascribed to the family by the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa will be discussed. The church order and regulations of the mentioned church will form the basis for this discussion. With this it will be indicated if indeed churches like the URCSA realises their role in family life and if their understanding of, and ministry towards families correlates with the current realities of Generation Y.

In Suid-Afrika word die identiteit van die sogenaamde Generasie Y (Millenniërs) gereeld bespreek binne die weier spektrum van die sosiologiese wetenskappe. Studies hieroor wys in die algemeen daarop dat hierdie generasie, met sy sterk fokus op die familie, ‘n baie spesifieke verstaan het van familieskap, identiteit(-e) en die kerk. Die effek hiervan speel op ‘n spesifieke manier uit binne die konteks van ‘n residensieël georiënteerde universiteit soos Stellenbosch Universiteit. Hierdie artikel bespreek Generasie Y se verstaan van familie. Die skrywer gee spesifiek aandag aan die konsep familieskap en ‘n fokus op die vraag of families gesien kan word as veilige ruimtes waar menswaardigheid gekweek word. Ook hier sal daar kortliks gewys word op die effek van die identiteit en kultuur van Generasie Y op Suid-Afrikaanse universiteitskampusse. Tweedens sal die rol en waarde toegskryf aan familieskap deur die Verenigende Gereformeerde Kerk in Suider-Afrika bespreek word. Die kerkorde en reglemente van die vermelde kerk sal hier as basis vir bespreking gebruik word. So sal daar aangetoon word of kerke soos die VGKSA hul rol in die bou van families sowel as hul verstaan van (‘n) bediening(s) aan families ooreenstem met die huidige realiteite van Generasie Y.

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