In the years following the global financial crisis, Intergenerational conflict has been thrust into the centre of public and political debates, with general elections, the EU Referendum, student fees and the housing crisis all routinely viewed through the prism of age and generation.
“Conditions have deteriorated for children and improved dramatically for the elderly, and demographic change has been intimately involved in these developments.”
This quote is taken from a seminal 1984 paper by the demographer Samuel Preston but it remains as relevant now as it was then. It illustrates the nature of intergenerational conflict as omnipresent; not a new form of conflict, but an ongoing one which ebbs and flows, with nuanced changes across time.
That inequity that exists across generational cohorts does not necessarily mean that age is driving these inequalities, with other sociodemographic issues such as race, religion, wealth and class, driving inequalities across society in which age is a matter of correlation, not causation.
These issues are the tip of the iceberg in this debate and in this presentation we delve deeper to provide a better understanding of intergenerational conflict; does it exist? If so, how, and how are different generations affected?