Asset Publisher

Adobe Stock / beeboys

Monitor Election and Social Research

Generations across generations – Results from qualitative group discussions

by Caroline Werkmann, Dr. Hans-Jürgen Frieß

Social analysis of attitudes and values of different generations in Germany

Our study shows: No generational conflicts are negotiated between the generations, even if different interests exist due to the specific life situation. The digital transformation of society and the mastery of change are discussed in age groups. Older participants in particular are afraid of being left behind in society, of no longer being able to keep up. But insecurities are also visible among younger people. The crises of recent years and decades shape the participants' perceptions and in some cases lead to fatalistic assessments.

Asset Publisher

The study, conducted on behalf of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung from 9 to 16 November 2022, looked at the attitudes and values of different generations in Germany. The aim was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the generations and their attitudes with regard to various socio-political issues, including social justice, pensions and climate change. In qualitative focus groups, participants discussed within their generations or in age-heterogeneous groups. 

Some key findings of the study are: 

  • The topic of intergenerational justice is not a decisive arena of conflict in the focus groups. Intergenerational conflicts are not negotiated and settled either among themselves or between the generations. 
  • The digital transformation of society and mastering change are discussed in all age groups. Fear of not being able to master the technology and of no longer being able to keep up or participate is something that older participants in particular are afraid of. But insecurities are also widespread among younger generations. Therefore, the digital transformation should take these needs into account so that citizens are not digitally disconnected.
  • The crises of recent years and decades are shaping perceptions in the age groups. There is uncertainty about which of one's own decisions, e.g., with regard to pensions or education, are also future-proof, as planning and determinations lead to incalculable results. Especially in the area of pensions, this leads to a fatalistic attitude. 
  • In East Germany the state of equity between East and West Germany is addressed and rated poorly. In West Germany differences between the old and new states are not addressed. 

Read all the results of the social analysis "Generations across Generations" from our Forum Empirical Social Research "Generations across Generations" here as a PDF.


Asset Publisher

Contact Person

Dr. Viola Neu


Deputy Head of Division Analysis and Consulting,
Head of Department Electoral and Social Research +49 30 26996-3506


Asset Publisher

About this series

The publications of the Election and Social Research Monitor are part of our Monitor publication series. The Monitor series deals with one main topic at a time from the perspective of KAS experts and places it in the political and social context on the basis of a few key points.