Stáří mladýma očima: zdroje nevraživosti mladých k seniorům

Romana Trusínová email
   Fakulta sociálních věd, Univerzita Karlova v Praze


As we live in an ageing society, intergenerational cohesion represents an increasingly important theme. Sociological research has however shown that this cohesion is sometimes undermined by conflict or lack of respect between members of different generations. This is why this study aims to explore the mindset which fuels young adults’ expression of ageist attitudes toward seniors. The main questions are: What triggers hostile feelings in some young adults toward the elderly and what can lead young people to vent these feelings? A qualitative sociological research was used to answer these questions. Indepth interviews were attended by adult residents of the Czech Republic, aged 19-28. The research confirmed the findings of earlier social researchers; namely, that prejudice against the elderly is not only shared, but also commonly expressed. This indicates that the fight against age-inequality is currently in its early days. The research further revealed that the most likely explanation for young people’s ageist behaviour is their disrespect towards seniors. The reasons for this disrespect seem to be particularly: contempt for ageing as a process of decline, disapproval of Czech senior citizens’ passive lifestyles and the imitation of behavioral patterns where rude communication with older family members is the norm. The research concluded that the ageist behaviour of young adults towards seniors is not a consequence of any specific intergenerational conflict. More likely, young people view seniors as an easy target for venting their frustrations. As the article draws to a close, the author discusses the possibilities of dealing with these problems with the objective of reinforcing intergenerational cohesion in the Czech Republic.

Klíčová slova

intergenerational relations; youth; old age; qualitative research; ageism

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