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 and old people are supposed to be at odds with each other. And yet, this virus has proven that the tensions between the generations might not be so pronounced – teenagers are volunteering for their elderly relatives and the nation has come together to protect our Grans and Grandads. But is there a generational element to the government lockdown – what does this mean for kids out of school and away from public life? And how might we move on in a positive direction, away from the generation wars?

One person who has been following this issue long before the current pandemic is Jennie Bristow, senior lecturer in sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University and author of a number of books including ‘Stop Mugging Grandma: The ‘Generation Wars’ and Why Boomer-Blaming Won’t Solve Anything’, ‘The Sociology of Generations’ and ‘Standing Up to Supernanny’. She’s currently working on a book about the coronavirus generation.

On the Academy of Ideas Podcast on 24 April, Battle of Ideas festival co-convenor and journalist Ella Whelan talked to Jennie to find out more.

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