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Generational conflict, consumption and the ageing welfare state in the United Kingdom

Higgs, P; Gilleard, C; (2010) Generational conflict, consumption and the ageing welfare state in the United Kingdom. Ageing & Society , 30 (8) 1439 - 1451. 10.1017/S0144686X10000425. Green open access

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Abstract

The British welfare state is over 60 years old. Those who were born, grew up and who are now growing old within its ambit are a distinctive generation. They have enjoyed healthier childhoods with better education that previous populations living in Britain. That they have done well under the welfare state is accepted, but some critics have argued that these advantages are at the expense of younger cohorts. The very success of the ‘welfare generation’ is perceived as undermining the future viability of the welfare state. Current levels of income and wealth enjoyed by older cohorts can only be sustained by cutbacks in entitlements for younger cohorts. This will leads to a growing ‘generation fracture’ over welfare policy. This paper challenges this position, arguing that both younger and older groups find themselves working out their circumstances in conditions determined more by the contingencies of the market than by social policy.

Type: Article
Title: Generational conflict, consumption and the ageing welfare state in the United Kingdom
Location: United Kingdom
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X10000425
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X10000425
Language: English
Additional information: © Copyright Cambridge University Press 2010
Keywords: welfare state, generational conflict, consumer, contingency
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/69043
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