For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"The Meaning of Work through the Prism of the Generations"

by Méda, Dominique; Vendramin, Patricia (2017)


The SPReW research we make use of here was intended to determine to what extent different age groups were able to work together in mutual understanding, in the process putting to the test the hypothesis that young people have a more distanced relationship to work than their elders. This is an idea often advanced by members of the older generation confronted by young people’s behaviours and attitudes with regard to work. In seeking to determine whether the young were indeed distinctive in this respect, we adopted, amongst others, a comparative generational approach. In this chapter, we explain first of all the significance of the generational approach and justify the choice of age groups for the purpose. We then propose a classification of types of engagement with work in terms of the instrumental/expressive dichotomy on the one hand and individual life course on the other, before going on to consider in what way young people may differ from their elders and the way they position themselves in relation to other generations. This leads us, in conclusion, to argue that we need a new model of the relationship to work.


Méda, Sociology, Political Economy, European Context, Historiography, Historical Context, Meaning Of Work



Links to Reference



How to contribute.