Reading for Week 5. Book: Sense of Sociability, Chapter: 4
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SS4: Age groups
Karl Mannheim (The problem of Generations); generation is a social location that has potential to affect
ppl’s consciousness. Being born in the same year puts ppl in a common location of history of social
Members of generation will experience society different from older generations (through 1st hand
experiences), subgroups form due to gender and class (generation units); they all share common features.
Carry a distinctive language and way of thinking. May create youthful activism
Youth protests books; Eisenstadt and Lipset (also US revolutions)
Interest in elder not because they’re ‘important’ but beg questions as how to deal with their increase in #
financially and socially.
Questions arises; how to deal with them, how to financially support them? -> leads to Why are there fewer
young workers and more elders?
1.Populations ages as ppl live longer (more dramatic is developed societies)
2.Lower fertility (fewer babies are born) (could lead to extinction of societies if not for immigration)
Each group (old, middle, young) pay attention only to their own lives and concerns.
These groups will fight for political attention, etc. And may even form allies with other age groups due to
common enemy (old/young against middle aged).
Change in flow of resources. From young-to-old to old-to-young due to:
1.Young ppl no longer source of benefits to parents, or dependent on parents, more free
2.Flight from parenthood, not financially viable to have kids, ‘university education is not cheaper by
the dozen’. Good reasons to put less time into kids
Opportunities for Cooperation across the line
We learn about older ppl from ‘older’ relatives. As we age, learn about younger ppl from ‘younger’
As children we enter a world controlled by older, savvier, bigger ppl (insight by Alfred Adler)
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