Talking about Generations: 5 questions to ask yourself

To mark National Intergenerational Week (8-14 March), the interdisciplinary Generations Network, led by academics at Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Surrey, has produced a guide to Talking about Generations. The guide presents five key questions to be considered by those working with the concept of generations, and three suggestions for avoiding the pitfalls […]

Letters on Liberty: Growing up in lockdown

In a contribution to the Academy of Ideas’ Letters on Liberty series, I argue that although the costs of lockdowns are tremendous, especially for young people, we should be wary of narratives that frame young people as especially vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. This framing robs young people both of agency and of […]

Book launch: The Corona Generation

Watch Emma and I launch our book The Corona Generation: Coming of age in a crisis, in conversation with Ella Whelan, on YouTube here.

Lockdowns don’t protect the elderly

While Covid-19 has been scything through Western society, in the past year an altogether different – and possibly more insidious – threat has been brewing: the prospect of a conflict between the young and elderly. As soon as the pandemic struck, commentators seized upon fears that the heartless young would shrug off the pandemic as […]

Will our children ever trust us again?

In any other year, the next few months would be some of the most formative of Emma’s life. New classes, newer friends; at the very least, her second term in Sixth Form held the promise of A-Level mock exams. But with the Christmas holiday over and schools shut until at least mid-February, Emma — like […]

Differenze sì, guerra generazionale mai!

I was interviewed by Raffaello Carabini for Spazio50 magazine, 1 December 2020: La sociologa Jennie Bristow difende da sempre l’impegno comune delle generazioni – di giovani e anziani insieme – per migliorare il mondo. Il suo pensiero in questa intervista. È la responsabile del Dipartimento di Sociologia dell’Università di Canterbury, importante ateneo cattolico d’Inghilterra. Nel […]

Covid-19 and ‘stolen futures’

In early October, 19-year-old Finn Kitson was found dead at his halls of residence at the University of Manchester. When a local radio news source tweeted that the student’s death was not Covid-related, his grieving father hit back. ‘This is untrue’, tweeted Michael Kitson, an academic at the University of Cambridge: ‘If you lock down […]

We have failed the Class of 2020

Let’s hear it for the ‘Class of 2020’. These are the young people who came into the year facing significant educational milestones – GCSE or A-level exams or their national equivalents, graduation from high school or University – only to find these rites of passage smashed by Covid-19 and lockdown. As other students have struggled […]

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 […]

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