Generationalism backs ageism

Stefania Medetti interviewed me for her blog, The Age Buster. She wrote:  Picasso had a Blue Period and I had a Russian one. For a couple of years, I devoured Russian literature, scavenging for unknown titles when the most famous ones had already found a place on my bookshelf. Russian literature has all the depths that […]

Covid-19 and the ‘generational housing divide’

In a comment to The Guardian, I said: ‘The divide is actually one of class and ethnicity, not one of generation. We need to question government policies that have shut down public spaces for young people during lockdown and pushed them back into their homes during lockdown when evidence doesn’t show the necessity of that.’ ‘Covid-19 exposes […]

The potential and pitfalls of putting the ‘university experience’ online

Way before the upheaval of the COVID-19 crisis, universities were gradually moving some teaching activities online. Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) such as Moodle or Blackboard are well-established for providing access to course materials, including readings and lecture slides, and the submission and marking of student coursework. More recently, a head of steam has developed around […]

Our kids have simply been cut adrift by school closures – with devastating consequences for their education

My teenage daughters are in Years 9 and 11. In normal circumstances, the younger of the two would be laying the foundations for her GCSE exams – the backbone of any pupil’s plans for the future. My eldest, meanwhile, would be about to sit them. Yet neither of my daughters has stepped past the school […]

We don’t need a lockdown to enforce good behaviour

The public has internalised the spirit of the rules. Now we must be free to find our way out of this. Widely reported research from King’s College London suggests that 48 per cent of people can be characterised as ‘accepting’ of lockdown (following the rules and coping reasonably well), while 44 per cent are ‘struggling’ […]

Has Coronavirus put an end to the generation wars?

The current coronavirus pandemic has revealed, or heightened, many underlying political issues – from the lingering effect of the culture wars to the consequences of fearmongering in political discourse. But one issue that seems to have bucked the trend is the generation debate. Going by much of the discussion of the last 10 years, young […]

The Corona Generation

The Covid-19 crisis will have huge social and economic implications for everybody. But it will have particular symbolic significance for the Corona Generation: the young people currently coming of age, who until now have travelled by the unimaginative label ‘Generation Z’. The Corona Generation is the one for whom schools and universities have closed their […]

The journey from self to selfie

Once upon a time (that is, before the millennium), there was no such thing as a ‘selfie’. People used cameras to capture an image of the world or the people around them. The closest they got to a selfie was when they persuaded someone else to take their photo. But the idea that photography could […]

Engaging with the Corona Generation

In recent years, we have become obsessed with generational labels as a way to make sense of tensions within society. Conflicts over economic, social, political and cultural resources are routinely expressed as conflicts between generations – in particular, the Baby Boomers, born in the two decades after the Second World War, and the Millennials, born […]

Covid-19 is not a ‘generation war’

We need intergenerational solidarity more than ever.* The Covid-19 pandemic will have huge consequences: for human life and health, for the global economy, for people’s livelihoods. Coping with these consequences largely depends on developing a strong sense of social solidarity: drawing on the ties that bind us to our communities, friends, and families, and setting […]

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