Chapter 9: Global perspectives on youth and intergenerational relations in the 21st century
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Are we witnessing the rise of a global “clash of generations”? Drawing on more than 150 qualitative interviews with young adults aged 18 to 30 in Santiago de Chile, Madrid, Paris, Hong-Kong, and Montréal, this chapter highlights three global trends in intergenerational relations: 1) within the family, intergenerational solidarity is indeed highly mobilized, but pushed to its limit; 2) in society, we observe the affirmation of a ‘generational us’ associated with a feeling of intergenerational injustice that is particularly noticeable among young graduates and directed more against the ‘system’ than against the older generations; and 3) at the political level, where the rhetoric of conflict between generations appears to be the most pervasive, with the rise of a generational voice within social movements. We conclude that while the risk of a “clash of generations” exists, it chiefly affects the political sphere, and mainly concerns young graduates.

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