This chapter addresses the issue of the interconnections between social processes and generational identity formation. The self-reflexive generational identity (or ‘generational consciousness’, as defined by Karl Mannheim) of the age cohort born in Lithuania in the 1970s is analysed. The analysis is based on data drawn from biographical interviews and focus group discussions. The cohort’s reflections on themselves as a generation are analysed in order to reveal whether this age cohort perceives itself as a distinct generation and, if so, what features serve as the basis of their self-identity: do their generational references result from experience of transformative events, structural conditions experienced during their ‘formative years’, cultural features or discursive constructs of their identity?
Data reveal that the 1970 birth cohort in Lithuania has a strong generational consciousness and it defines itself mostly as a political (‘historical’, ‘experience’) generation: its generational self-identity is largely characterised by the relationship between socio-historical transformations in Lithuania and the cohort’s critical age. Although the experience of socio-cultural transformations is the most important for this generation’s self-identity, it also attaches great importance to the experience and memories of the Soviet era. In the perceptions of the relationship of the generation with the Soviet era, both continuity (the influence of the experiences of the late Soviet era, the continuity of some values and memories of parents’ and grandparents’ generations) and efforts to distance oneself from it are visible. Cultural features are also important in the generation’s understandings of their generational identity.