Generational Conflict

The term generational conflict addresses questions of distribution and economic justice between generations. Generational gap, by contrast, addresses political and cultural disagreements. After a short introduction into societies’ perception of generational relations, the prevailing arguments within the current discourse and the interests therein are discussed. This is followed by the results of studies on intergenerational exchange that question assumptions of conflict. Finally, the Western bias of this discussion is addressed.

From the 19th century onward, social philosophers considered the succession of generations a moment of instability and therefore either an opportunity for social change or an impending breakdown of order. Sigmund Freud used the myth of Oedipus to refer to generational relations. This cruel metaphor appealed to well-educated people of not only his time but also ...

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