Intergenerational wars are a myth

A UN report plays down warnings of intergenerational conflict in an ageing world.

Fears of widespread intergenerational conflict in the future are unwarranted according to a report from the United Nation’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

The report entitled ‘Intergenerational Solidarity: Strengthening Economic and Social Ties’, examined global relationships between the generations throughout society and at the family level.

In the face of sociological research that has tended to focus on conflict and the prospect of a ‘war between generations’, the researchers came to an unexpected conclusion.

A major reason given in support of continued intergenerational solidarity is the fact that despite the pressures of modernisation in the developed world, family members still “struggle” to meet their obligations to older relatives.

“On the basis of the evidence it does not appear that here will be marked generational conflict in the future, and it is likely that intergenerational solidarity will remain at a high level,” said the report.

“This is particularly true at the microgenerational [family group] level.”

The report said that on a societal level, new roles will continue to evolve for older people and social and support systems will develop new mechanisms to support large numbers of older people.

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