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Stop Mugging GrandmaThe 'Generation Wars' and Why Boomer Blaming Won't Solve Anything$
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Jennie Bristow

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300236835

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300236835.001.0001

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‘Youthquakes’ and the politicisation of generational identity

‘Youthquakes’ and the politicisation of generational identity

(p.139) Chapter 7 ‘Youthquakes’ and the politicisation of generational identity
Stop Mugging Grandma

Jennie Bristow

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the politicisation of generational identity. It shows that the script of Boomer-blaming has formed the basis for a new political narrative, which has come to view generational conflict as an alternative frame to the class-based politics that dominated the twentieth century. This latest phase of generationalism overstates the importance of generational characteristics and difference, and threatens to turn them into a brittle form of generational identity, deliberately setting old and young against each other. A set of ideas about the ‘younger generation’ — the kind of people they are, the politics they support, the vision they hold of the future — has been marshalled to narrate political events and promote particular outcomes. Older generations, meanwhile, are positioned as standing in the way of the interests of the present — voting too much, voting the wrong way, daring to have a say on the future of a society in which they will soon be dead.

Keywords:   youthquakes, generational identities, generational conflict, class-based politics, generationalism, generational characteristics, younger generations, older generations

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