The pensions ‘quadruple lock’ is not an attack on the young

As the UK Labour Party cuddles up to the youth with a cynical pledge to give votes to schoolchildren, the ailing Tories have doubled down on the grey vote, promising further protections to the state pension via the ‘triple lock plus’, or ‘quadruple lock’. Yes, this may be a shameless bribe from Sunak and Co. But does that mean it’s actually […]

What’s up with Generation Z?

I am quoted in a thoughtful feature article for the Observer by James Tapper, published on 3 March.

Sociology and the problem of ‘social generations’

In evaluating the power and limitations of the ‘social generations’ concept, developed by Karl Mannheim in the 1920s, my chapter in Studying Generations: Multidisciplinary Perspectives reviews the different approaches to the study of generations within the discipline of sociology, with particular regard to their relationship to contemporary social, historical and political developments. It further suggests that the […]

Schools are still reeling from lockdown

Parents, remember this time three years ago? In England, we just had been locked down for Christmas, waiting with clenched teeth for the start of the next school term, only for the school gates to be slammed shut for a further two months. Our kids were condemned to another run of aimless, formless days, tended […]

‘This House Would Respect Our Elders’

My speech at the Cambridge Union, 23 November 2023.

The real chaos of the ‘new normal’

“Generation gap” is a term that trips neatly off the tongue, often used to describe banal differences between older and younger people in matters of cultural taste, approaches to work, political opinion, and myriad other features of social life. Just yesterday, The Times added sex to that list, telling us that Gen Z, compared to their elders, […]

The ‘stolen years’: understanding the lockdowns

It’s not surprising lockdown was experienced as an era of loneliness, anxiety and fear. In every arena, freedom, autonomy and social life were restricted in favour of Zoom calls, family bubbles, and vaccine passports. Some say we are seeing a permanent shift in the experience of growing up. But to what extent has Covid given […]

The cult of Plastic Woman

How fantastic is life in plastic? I’m not talking about Barbie here, though of course the film’s defining moment is Gloria’s bitter feminist monologue: “I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us.” I mean the longer-running cult of plasticity, popularised in the 2000s with […]

The rise of baby doomers

As the media cycle lurches from the promotion of one existential crisis to another, demography continues to dominate. In the UK, low birth rates and ageing populations mean we won’t be able to afford healthcare and pensions; we have too many of the “wrong type” of immigrants and too much of the “wrong type” of emigration. Of course, some countries […]

Kvinde, glem din krop

Mette Rodgers interviewed me about feminism and the ‘gender wars’ for the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen:

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