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The intergenerational value conflicts between different generations

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Sociology
Wordcount: 1749 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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This paper studies about the intergenerational value conflicts between different generations like parent-child relation. More emphasis is laid on the values of individual ,generational differences, thoughts ,etc. The main focus is to see whether the young adults have more value conflicts than the elderly individuals. Value conflict being the dependent variable was developed in early life. They are derived from those of particular groups such as culture, religion and political party. One’s family, nation, and environment determine one’s personal values .Conflict is perceived opposition of needs, values and interests. Conflict explains many aspects of social life, conflict of interests between individuals , groups. Generational differences occur because of more rapid cultural change during the modern era in matters related to musical tastes , fashion, culture and politics .Intergenerational conflict is either a conflict situation between adults or a more abstract conflict between two generations. It includes social, economic, cultural discrepancies caused by value shift or conflict of interest between generations. Intergenerational conflicts arise due to their phase of development. Researchers in developmental studies have been slow to include comparative or cross-cultural aspects in their studies of family relations [Feldman & Rosenthal, 1994; Guerra & Jagers, 1998] like how adolescents develop their self-concept and how their awareness of self affects their relationships with others, particularly family members. A family in the literature has traditionally been studied as a unit of social organization, and parent-child relations have been investigated as an aspect of social interaction.


The basic theoretical issues in understanding intergenerational relations would seem to be the identification of those dimensions which influence the nature of the relationship and the possible consequences of the exchange for social change and stability. The degree of potential stemming there from may be expected to vary with the rate and magnitude of sociohistorical change which separates two generations whereas the perception of conflict would seem to be influenced not only by substantive content of human life goals, but also, and in greater measure, by it’s successes and failures and the emotional costs and rewards related. The concept of development tasks tended to use the interrelation of male generations and it may present less issue among women and may manifest itself in different forms and have different implications for social change. The study just takes few aspects of human life like values confluence, behavioral changes, relationships, etc. Many importante sources like economic status ,occupation, religion, political stability ,career etc have not been studied. Many theories have been done after its publication like intergenerational support activities and well being among the elderly individuals which applicates that shared orientation to the intergenerational family role suggests that social background and related roles ,subjective meanings and self-feelings ,as well as, exchange processes influence the interaction of adults and their elderly parents .Other theories explaining intergenerational conflict when adult children and elderly parents live together, two sets of factors were proposed(a)variables based on exchange theory that emphasize the health and dependency of the elderly parent,(b)social structural characteristics of both ,the parent and the child ,including the age, whether the child and parent share the similar marital status, and the gender of both the parent and child. Both the low levels of conflict and the relative importance of gender and health ,and dependency resulted from the choice that parents and children exercise when deciding whether co reside, and from the perceptions of equity that they experience in living arrangements.


The hypothesis of the research stated that young adults have more value conflicts than the elderly individuals. Many other researchers were also conducted in regard to intergenerational relation with significant other variables like interpersonal perceptions which proved that there is very little value conflict .Other hypothesis stated that there is surprisingly low leveresidels of conflict of parents with their resident adult children, as well as, exchange and symbolic interaction influence the interaction of adult children and their parents.



The sample consisted of 52 high school students and 52 parent sample group which were randomly selected. Each generation was equally divided between males and females. The average age of students was 17 and parents were 50.an open-ended focused interview approach (Merton et al., 1956) was adopted in the exploration of goals and values.


The survey was administered for eight-and-one-half hours. The inquiry moved from global generalizations of value (main purpose of life) to specific objectives (long and short term goals).The data were supplemented by a structured approach in which subjects were asked to rank order. The questionnaire was categorized into seven parts: instrumental-material; interpersonal-expressive; philosophical-religious; socialservice; ease contentment; hedonistic and personal growth.


Questions were asked to know the intergenerational perceptions where the adults were asked the goals of the next generation and how they got along with their parents. Parallel questions were asked to both the sample groups. Ratings were done on the basis of positive ,neutral ,predominantly negative. Then the ratings were further made of degree of conflict contained in parent-child relation(absent ,mild ,moderate ,severe).The reliability averaged 75 percent .Every research has its own way of measuring the variables so as to get significant results. Every research has it’s own scale and the questions totally vary according to particular variables .Some of the few things that should be kept in mind for the survey is the sample size ,gender ,area where the research will be conducted. Make sure that the sample groups be equivalent in number mainly when it is co relational experiment. The gender of people should also be same so as to get appropriate results. Area plays a very important role. People are basically influenced by the environment around them. Environment changes one’s thoughts, actions , habits, personality. Sample is a very crucial part in the experiment .Larger the sample ,better the results are, comparison becomes more clearer ,results come to be more fine. It is important to have equal number of samples in both the groups.


The data analyzed for this experiment was designed to yield basic ‘philosophies of life”.The instrumental-achievement values (ranging from success to earning a living)was high among school boys(44 percent)and second most frequent in men(41 percent).it had lesser significance in school girls(30 percent) and very little in women(15 percent).The younger sample did not differ significantly from the parent sample where the generations differed was in youth’s high expectations from life(32 percent and 41 percent of boys and girls as compared to 11 percent and 22 percent of men and women).The importance of discovering and utilizing one’s latent potential ,self-realization being mentioned by an average of 30 percent among the young and 10 percent among the parent generation .Lastly superego-required values-values relative to moral conduct or society- generational differences was found in the sample.


The intergenerational family role provides the opportunity to extend the convergence to understand the interaction between elderly parents and their adult children. The application of both perspectives enable us to focus on three questions:1.the impact of social structure on family interaction;2.the influence of subjective factors on interaction;3.the influence of family exchanges on self-feelings among the elderly. The perspectives also share the recognition that social background factors influence the resources available to participants in social situations and the scope of potential interactions. The findings confirm earlier expectations that elderly parents with more resources receive less help, while older parents and parents in poor health give less aid to their children.Further, both perspectives emphasize to relational character of roles. Subjective and self-processes also influence behavior. Once we recognize that roles are not predetermined packages of performances are more loosely think of continuum ranging from formal institutional settings with relatively detailed established roles to informal ,new roles are more loosely constructed and less clearly defined.


Intergenerational conflict is normative during youth’s transition to adulthood,with the younger generation searching and struggling the older generation appraising the outcome of their parental guidance for self-identity,the older generation apprehensively appraising the outcome of their parental guidance and responsibilities,where they begin to review and assess their own llife attainments and failures.It is far less change in social values is occurring than is popularly believed and that it is not of a magnitude to introduce any radical and lasting modification of the social and political structure within the coming decade or so.


The subject should me debriefed about the research that is being conducted. To see whether young adults have more value conflicts than the elderly individuals. The subject should not be stressed out. The subject should be comfortable and ready to answer to all the questions in the questionnaire. Before submitting the questionnaire to the subject, the informed consent should be taken from the subject that this research can get published also. After it’s approval only, the subject should be given the questionnaire. The subject should be made at ease that all the information that the subject will write ,will be kept confidential .,their name or any other personal detail wont be leaked out. After all these approvals only ,the researcher is supposed to conduct the research.


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