Generation is less than Age
Monitor Election and Social Research
Patronizing Boomers, lazy GenZ – cliches on generations are ubiquitous. Reality is different though. The claim on generational differences is wrong in even two ways.
In a representative survey, the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung analyzed how the young, the middle aged and the elderly differ. While the names of generations insinuate considerable differences, in reality the various age groups are fairly similar. The consider the same values as very important or less important. They are worried about the same developments in society. Also attitudes on fundamental political questions are similar.
Beyond these broad similarities there are minor differences. Excitement, creativity and success are valued higher by the young. The elderly regard modest behaviour more often as important and they tend to value traditions higher. The young want to reduce barriers for immigrants and participate in demonstrations more often while the elderly make donations more often. However, all these differences are age differences and not generational differences. Already a few decades ago there were similar differences between the young an the elderly. Not the Generation Z values success higher but the young do. At times when the current elderly were young, they also valued success high.
Talking of generations is wrong, claiming considerable age differences is seldom correct.
Please note, to date the study is only available in German.