Aging in Post-industrial Societies: Intergenerational Conflict and Solidarity

  • Alex Dumas
  • Bryan S. Turner

Alain Touraine and Manuel Castell have contributed extensively to the understanding of profound societal changes occurring in post-industrial societies. It comes as no surprise that both signed the preface of Anne-Marie Guillemard’s (2000) important piece Aging and the Welfare-State Crisis,originally published in France in the 1980s. This sociohistorical study of policies for old age highlighted many of the challenges that faced the welfare state in the postwar France. Although Guillemard’s work deals primarily with the welfare of the elderly globally, it points to the need for political sensitivity in promoting changes to the welfare state and new forms of intergenerational solidarity that will cater to the needs of all generations despite emergent social and demographic transformations that threaten all forms of collective social welfare.


Welfare State Generational Equity Social Solidarity Demographic Shift Rapid Social Change 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Attias-Donfut, C. (1991). Générations et âges de la vie. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  2. Bell, D. (1999). The coming of post-industrial society. A venture in social forecasting (new edition). New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  3. Bourdieu, P. (1993). Youth is just a word. In P. Bourdieu (Ed.), Sociology in Question (pp. 94–102). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  4. Bourdieu, P. (1998). Practical reason: On the theory of action. Polity: Cambridge.Google Scholar
  5. Chauvel, L. (2002). Le destin des générations. Structure sociale et cohortes en France au XXe siècle. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  6. Cheal, D. (1995). Repenser les transferts intergénérationnels. Axes de recherche sur les relations temporelles dans les pays anglo-saxons. In C. Attias-Donfut (Ed.), Les solidarités entre les générations. Vieillesse, familles, État (pp. 259–268). Paris: Natan.Google Scholar
  7. Cole, T. R. (1992) The journey of life. A cultural history of aging in America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dahrendorf, R. (1959). Class and class conflict in an industrial society. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.Google Scholar
  9. Dumas., A., & Turner, B. S. (2006). Age and ageing: The social world of Foucault and Bourdieu. In J. L. Powell & A. Wahidin (Eds.), Foucault and ageing (pp. 145–155). New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  10. Dumas, A., & Laforest, S. (2008). Intergenerational conflict: What can skateboarding tell us about the struggles for legitimacy in the field of sports? Idrottsforum. Accessed 1 June 2008.Google Scholar
  11. Edmunds, J. T., & Turner, B. S. (2002). Generation, culture and society. Philadelphia: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Elder, G. H., Jr. (1974). Children of the great depression: Social change in life experience. Chicago: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Eyerman, R., & Turner, B. S. (1998). Outline of a theory of generations. European Journal of Social Theory, 1(1), 91–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fukuyama, F. (2002). Our posthuman futures: Consequences of biotechnology revolutions. New York, NY: Picador.Google Scholar
  15. Gilleard, C., & Higgs, P. (2005). Contexts of ageing. Class, cohort and community. Cambridge: Polity.Google Scholar
  16. Goudlner, A. (1960). The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement. American Sociological Review, 25(2), 161–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grundy, E. (2005). Reciprocity in relationships: Socioeconomic and health influences on intergenerational exchanges between Third Age parents and their adult children in Great Britain. British Journal of Sociology, 56(2), 233–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Guillemard, A.-M. (2000). Aging and the welfare state crisis. Newark, NJ: University of Delaware Press.Google Scholar
  19. Guillemard, A.-M. (2007). Une nouvelle solidarité entre les âges et les générations dans une société de longévité. In S. Paugam (Ed.), Repenser la solidarité. L'apport des sciences sociales (pp. 335–375). Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.Google Scholar
  20. Hespanha, P. (1995). Vers une société providence simultanément pré- et post-moderne. L'état des solidarités intergénérationnelles au Portugal. In C. Attias-Donfut (Ed.), Les solidarités entre générations. Vieillesse, familles, État (pp. 209–221). Paris: Nathan.Google Scholar
  21. Klinenberg, E. (2002). Heat wave: A social autopsy of a disaster in Chicago. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago press.Google Scholar
  22. Kohli, M. (1995). La présence de l'histoire. In C. Attias-Donfut (Ed.), Les solidarités entre générations. Vieillesse, familles, État (pp. 245–258). Paris: Nathan.Google Scholar
  23. Kotlikoff, L. J. (1992). Generational accounting: Knowing who pays, and when, for what we spend. Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan.Google Scholar
  24. Laslett, P. (1989). A fresh map of life. The emergence of the third age. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
  25. Mannheim, K. (1972). Essays on the sociology of knowledge. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd.Google Scholar
  26. Masson, A. (1995). L’héritage au sein des transferts entre générations: théorie, constat, perspectives. In C. Attias-Donfut (Ed.), Les solidarités entre générations. Vieillesse, familles, État (pp. 279–325). Paris: Nathan.Google Scholar
  27. Mauger, G. (1990). Postface. In K. Mannheim (Ed.), Le problème des générations (pp. 85–115). Paris: Nathan.Google Scholar
  28. Marmor, T. R., Cook, F. L., & Scher, S. (1999). Social security and the politics of generational conflict. In J. B. Williamson, E. R. Kingson & D. M. Watts-Roy (Eds.), The Generational Equity Debate (pp. 185–203). New York, NY: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Minkler, M. (1991). ‘Generational equity’ and the new victim blaming. In M. Minkler & C. Estes (Eds.), Critical perspectives in aging (pp. 67–79). Amityville, NY: Baywood Press.Google Scholar
  30. OECD (2005). Labour force statistics: 1984–2004, Trends in international migration. Accessed 10 August 2008.
  31. OECD (2007). Society at a glance: OECD social indicators – 2006 edition. OECD. Accessed 1 August 2008.
  32. Phillipson, C. (1996). Intergenerational conflict and the welfare state: American and British perspectives. In A. Walker (Ed.), The new generational contract. Intergenerational relations, old age and welfare (pp. 206–220). London: UCL Press.Google Scholar
  33. Pierson, P. (1998). Irresistible forces, immovable objects: post-industrial welfare states confront permanent austerity. Journal of European Public Policy, 5(4), 539–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Preston, S. (1984). Children and the elderly: Divergent paths for America's dependents. Demography, 21(4), 435–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Richta, R. (1969). Civilization at the crossroads. Social and human implications of the scientific and technological revolution. New York, NY: White Plains.Google Scholar
  36. Riley White, M., & Riley, J.W. (2000). Age integration: Conceptual and historical background. The Gerontologist, 40(3), 266–270.Google Scholar
  37. Schultheis, F. (1995). Trois modèles de solidarité dans les systèmes de protection sociale. In C. Attias-Donfut (Ed.), Les solidarités entre générations. Vieillesse, familles, État (pp. 269–278). Paris: Nathan.Google Scholar
  38. Thurow, L. C. (1996). The birth of a revolutionary class. The New York Times Magazine, May 19, 46–47.Google Scholar
  39. Thomson, D. (1996). Selfish generations? How welfare states grow old. Cambridge: White Horse Press.Google Scholar
  40. Touraine, A. (1971). The post-industrial society. Tomorrow's social history: classes, conflicts and culture in the programmed society. New York, NY: Random House.Google Scholar
  41. Touraine, A. (2000). Forward to the original French edition. In A.-M. Guillemard (Ed.), Aging and the welfare state crisis (pp. 9–14). Newark, NJ: University of Delaware Press.Google Scholar
  42. Turner, B. S. (2001). The erosion of citizenship. British Journal of Sociology, 2(52), 189–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Turner, B. S. (2005). Citizenship, rights and health care. In J. Germov (Ed.), Second opinion 3rd edition (pp. 399–413). Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  44. Turner, B. S. (2006). Citizenship and the crisis of multiculturalism. Citizenship Studies, 10(5), 607–618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Vincent, J. A. (2005). Understanding generations: political economy and culture in an ageing society. British Journal of Sociology, 56(4), 579–599.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Walker, A. (1996). Intergenerational relations and the provision of welfare. In A. Walker (Ed.), The new generational contract. Intergenerational relations, old age and welfare (pp. 10–36). London: UCL Press.Google Scholar
  47. Williamson, J. B., McNamara, T. K., & Howling, S. A. (2003). Generational equity, generational interdependence and the framing of the debate over social security reform. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 30(3), 3–14.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of OttawaOntarioCanada
  2. 2.Asia Research InstituteDepartment of Sociology, Wellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA

Personalised recommendations