For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"The Coexistence of Generations at Work"

by Méda, Dominique; Vendramin, Patricia (2017)


There is nothing new about research and debate on young people’s position in the labour market, either in the work of sociologists of labour or in policy debate, nor about concern for the future of European pensions systems. Yet an intergenerational approach to labour-market participation has only recently emerged, either in sociology, policy discussion or human resources management. Until then, studies had looked at different age groups separately, motivated on the one hand by a recurrent concern for young people’s position in the labour market, and on the other by worries about demographic ageing and the future of pensions systems. It was the latter that would eventually prompt synoptic consideration of the different cohorts’ place in the labour market. Over the last decade or so, articles, colloquia and discussion meetings on age management in business have multiplied. The issue for human resources managers has been how to prolong the careers of workers over 50. At the national and European levels, on the other hand, the motivation to reflection has been the demographic challenge. Recent protest movements among young people in Europe and elsewhere have, furthermore, alerted public opinion to the younger generation’s unhappiness at its place at work and on the labour market, which notably does not at all reflect the growing proportion of graduates, especially among young women.


Méda, Sociology, Political Economy, European Context, Historiography, Historical Context, Youth, Pensions, Gendered Labour



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