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Session Overview
RN30_09a: Intergenerational relations
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Ralph Chan, University of Vienna
Location: GM.302
Manchester Metropolitan University Building: Geoffrey Manton, Third Floor 4 Rosamond Street West Off Oxford Road

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The Dynamics of Systemic Preferences in Polish Society (An Intergenerational Perspective)

Krystyna Szafraniec

Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland

The final directions of systemic changes in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are still not a foregone conclusion. In the initial period of the transformation in Poland there was a consensus regarding the direction of changes that had to be implemented. It was generally assumed that they were socially accepted. However, sociological research in Poland shows that there is a growing contradiction between the social awareness (with all its shifts and turns) and the direction of systemic transformations, also in terms of the normative structure of the emerging system.

Does this contradiction apply also to young people? For many years perceived as a generation of historical hope, Polish youth seem to be disappointed with the quality of changes that are taking place today. My aim is to present their attitudes and normative beliefs regarding social order in comparison to older cohorts. There are four groups of questions: about the state economy (egalitarian or efficiency-focused), kind of community identity (a closed one that refers to national roots or one that is open to Europe and diversity), political solutions (democratic or authoritarian) and type of citizenship (passive or committed).

When discussing these changes, I will refer to indices and ratios based on a number of Likert-type scales. They have been used in quasi-panel studies that have been carried out in Poland on large representative samples since the 1990s. Their sequential and repetitive nature allows both to capture the dynamics of the studied phenomena and to compare them across generations.

Behavioral Models of the Last Soviet Generation in Post-Soviet Lithuania

Laima Zilinskiene

Vilnius University, Lithuania

The aim of the presentation will be to analyze the last Soviet generation and determine the impact made to its development by the changing modernity of the 20th century. The analysis of the generation will cover search of its specific behavioral models. Particular attention is paid to their adaptation to social and political changes in Lithuania after 1991. The presentation will be based on the comparative research of three generations - the last Soviet generation, the older and the younger. In the research biographical methodology and group discussion material are applied. Will be analysed how different components of modernity determined generation's experience and how this experience is reflected in the generation. Generation's features of socialization in the late Soviet times and adaptation models in the contexts of changing modernity will be analysed giving attention to the family’s institution in the socialization. Empirical data consists of 80 biographical interviews with members of different generations (1960-1969, 1970-1979, 1980-1990) and three focus groups.

‘If I Compared Them To Myself At Their Age…’: Discourses Of Youth Futures And The Generational Bias

Valentina Cuzzocrea

University of Cagliari, Italy

This paper discusses interviews with professionals working with young people in Sardinia, Italy. These professionals express their views on possibilities for youth’s future from specific angles of their educational expertise. In so doing, they produce a generationally -biased set of priorities, emphasising deficits of young people, suggesting what they should or could do, sharply in line with their own generation’ values and priorities. Considered in its potential to disentangle intergenerational asymmetries of power, this material is the focus of this paper.

Given that the same study had emphasised that students produce narratives characterised by repetition and continuities along family history, in a circular vein which can be interpreted as a difficulty to imagine different futures, I turn here to explore such issues as: if several generations produce imaginaries that could broadly be reconducted to one generation only, whose the future that ought to be created? Whose are the meanings embedded in lifestyles, values, aims and objectives of actions? Whose agency is behind the capacity to enact in the world, today and tomorrow? Ultimately, what possibilities for social action are left to young people?

I conclude my discussion emphasising the need to: elaborate narratives which contain elements of awareness of generational issues as fundamental issues of power relations (a); find ways to conceptualise how social action is structurally based on such generational unbalances (b); rethink data collection and analysis to systematically open the way to creative thinking in view of intergenerational mechanisms (c).

Adolescents’ Attitudes Towards The Ideal Division Of Housework Tasks Among Couples: The Impact Of Socialization Experiences

Janine Bernhardt, Leonie Kleinschrot

German Youth Institute, Germany

Despite the rise of egalitarian gender ideologies and increasing labor force participation of mothers in Western Europe, parents’ division of housework has remained persistently unequal. The literature offers two major streams of explanation: structural constraints and the intergenerational transmission of gender culture. While structural barriers, e.g. to balancing work and family roles, are well documented, only few studies have been able to look into transmission processes of gender roles from parents to children. We still know little about how young people imagine an ideal division of typically gender-typed housework tasks and how their attitudes link to socialization experiences during childhood.

In this paper, we use multi-actor panel data for Germany to study how adolescents’ attitudes towards the ideal division of housework tasks are related to their parents’ actual division of housework tasks earlier in childhood. We investigate how this relationship differs according to child gender and the presence of siblings. Finally, we test whether daughters’ and sons’ own involvement in housework mediates this relationship.

The empirical analyses use two panel waves from AID:A, a national survey of children, adolescents and young adults. We restrict the sample to two-parent families and combine information from 2018 on adolescents’ attitudes towards the ideal division of housework tasks among opposite-sex parenting couples with information from 2014/15 on parents’ actual housework division as reported by mothers. The final sample consists of 650 mother-child dyads.

First results indicate that both female and male adolescents’ attitudes towards the ideal division of typically female tasks are far more egalitarian than their parents’ task division, whereas their attitudes about typically male tasks are strongly gender-typed.

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