The Generations Viewed from a Values Perspective


This article is published in Futuribles journal no.441, mars-avril 2021

As part of the series begun in this issue on inequality and the — more or less conflictual or supportive — relations between the generations, and a few months before another special dossier devoted to the findings of surveys on Europeans’ values, Olivier Galland examines what these surveys on intergenerational differences in respect of values show us. Viewed over the long term, age does not play as big a part in the divergence of values expressed by Europeans as one might think. Starting out from a number of major systems of values (cultural liberalism, traditions and religiosity, involvement in social life, and trust in others) analysed over some 30 years, the author shows how differences in values are much more dependent on the respondents’ nationality than their age. He goes into detail on these findings with regard to cultural liberalism (in terms of the tolerance of homosexuality), socio-political engagement, attitudes to democracy (in this connection, recent trends are still in question), views of gender equality, environmental values, and trust in the police. All of which tempers the notion of a major conflict of values between young people and their elders.
#Analyse sociologique #Générations #Système de valeurs