A New “Generational Gap” ? Global Trends in the Relations between Generations

Friday, 20 July 2018: 11:45
Oral Presentation
Cécile VAN DE VELDE, Université de Montréal, Canada
Are we witnessing the emergence of a new generational gap at the global level? This paper proposes a return to the question of « generation » as defined by Mannheim (Mannheim, 1928), but here necessarily extended to a transnational scale. It is based on an international and comparative survey of younger generations in the face of the world economic crisis, and aims to bring to light emerging trends in intergenerational relations analyzed at the family, social and political levels. This survey was conducted in five cities with the common feature of having epicentres of youth protests in recent years : Madrid, Montreal, Santiago de Chile, Hong Kong, and Paris. It is based on a mix of methods (more than 130 interviews with young adults from different social backgrounds in the 5 cities, OECD statistical data, and comparative analysis of social movements in each of these cities). The comparison makes it possible to identify common trends in the evolution of relations between generations: 1. within the family – analyzing the consequences of the increase in economic dependence with parents ; 2. in society - analyzing the emergence of a generational "we" ; 3. at the political level - analyzing how the social movements raise common generational questions. Analysis will link these three dimensions of intergenerational relations to show the existence of tensions not in priority between generations but rather between the younger generations and their societies.