The problem of the ‘Covid Generation’

In this talk for the ‘Connecting Generations’ project, I discuss the unsettling questions raised by the transformation of the Covid-19 pandemic into a generational problem. The pandemic has brought to the fore many features of the problem of generations that have exercised the sociological imagination for a century. These include the potential for tensions and […]

The problem of atomisation: from ‘bowling alone’ to lockdowns

Keynote lecture for the Academy conference, ‘Old roots of the new disorder‘, Bedfordshire, 16 July 2022.  

Fear, trust, and the sociology of pandemics

The Covid-19 pandemic was often described as an ‘unprecedented’ disaster, which required wholly new ways of thinking about, and managing, social life. But what was different about this pandemic to those that have afflicted societies over time? Sociologists have long been interested in pandemics, because they disrupt the existing social order and throw existing problems […]

Generation CUB – how the events of Covid, Ukraine and Brexit will shape our teenagers’ lives

Our children have grown up in a febrile state of emergency. How will they deal with a changed state of mind in years to come?

What the pandemic has really done to our children’s minds

If children have chosen ‘anxiety’ as their word of the year, it is because Project Fear has taught them that this is the right way to feel.

The Corona Generation on The Popular Show

I was interviewed by James A. Smith about generations, knowledge, and the impact of Covid restrictions on young people (18/12/21). Listen to it here:

The Dangers of the Generation Myth

Erika Cao has written about The Corona Generation in this piece for New University, the campus newsletter for the University of California, Irvine: Everyone remembers the 2019 “OK Boomer” meme which poked fun at older generations for misunderstanding Millennial and Gen Z culture. While the “OK Boomer” meme is a trivial example of how our […]

‘Ok, Boomer’: la socióloga británica que descubre la trampa de la guerra generacional

El Confidencial has published a long interview with me, by Ana Ramírez: Millennial: si quieres comprar una casa, deja de gastarte el dinero en tostadas de aguacate. Es lo que vino a decir el millonario y promotor australiano Tim Gurner en 2017, preguntado por la crisis que atravesaban los jóvenes en su país natal. “Sus expectativas son muy, muy altas”. Aguacates […]

How Greta serves the elites

In the early months of the pandemic, children were neither seen nor heard. Amid the eerie silence of padlocked playgrounds and empty town centres, those earnest appeals to ‘the voice of youth’ that were prominent in every big political debate of the last decade were quickly forgotten. Gripped by an emergency that threatened adults’ health, all that […]

Young people need a return to normal – Now

This time last year, I felt fortunate to be among a minority of academics able to teach students on campus. The experience was pretty weird. I was standing several metres away from new undergraduates, bellowing through a plastic face visor, encouraging them to ask questions or discuss issues with each other as they sat in […]

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