Intergenerational Conflict: Sociology YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Family Disorganization

  • Breakdown of relations
  • Not in harmony
  • Role conflict
  • Outcome of the lag in communication and the understanding between members of different generations within a family.
  • Difference, gap, distance or conflict of values between the adult and adolescent generations.
  • Lack of harmony between the values held by youth and adults
  • The young generation always rebels with the adult one
  • Better understanding of the field of abstract ideas as one reaches adolescence
  • Also known as ‘generation gap’
  • Cultures of both are contrasting
  • Relationship undergoes a strain
  • Commitment, sacrifice, family identity, etc. questioned by youth
  • Divorces and remarriages becoming common
  • Display of hypocrisy
  • Parents refuse to let children take responsibility for their own lives
  • Parents want their children to confirm to norms
  • Children want to be independent
  • Challenge opinions of elders
  • Spend time with likeminded people


  • Communication and interaction style
  • Disagreements over personal habits and choices
  • Cultural gap
  • Child rearing practices
  • Values
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Ideology
  • Work habits and orientation
  • Lack of understanding
  • “Clash of inferiority complexes”
  • Parents – past prime time of life
  • Children – inexperienced
  • Alienation between the generations
  • Distler
  • Patristic and Meristic culture
  • From Goal oriented, delay of gratification to expressing, sensory experience
  • David Elkind
  • Exploitation of the young by the old
  • Responsibility - freedom
  • Achievement - support
  • Loyalty - commitment
  • Life experiences - education, urbanization and the mass media, etc.
  • Dissimilarities in ideas
  • Faster a society changes, the wider distance between the generations
  • Understanding, respect, conflict resolution
  • Mannheim (1944) said that generation gap has a functional aspect. Since young people are not committed to and so are less likely to settle for, the status quo, they are able to function as a prime factor of innovation and societal improvement.


Q. 1. What do you think are the main reasons for intergenerational conflict

a) A situation of contest (overtaking the leadership in society)

b) Values (new values replacing the old)

c) Rejecting the old way of life (practices, routines)

d) All of the above

Answer: d

Q. 2. Intergenerational conflict also serves a functional role in the society. How?

a) Youth challenges the status quo

b) Youth develops new ways of living

c) Gives way to innovation

d) Gives way to societal development as a whole

Answer: d

#Socio-Cultural Issues

#Family disharmony

#Intergenerational conflict