Baby Boomers and the discourse of parental irresponsibility

Bristow, J. (2016) Baby Boomers and the discourse of parental irresponsibility. In: Parenting and Personhood: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Expertise, Family Life and Risk Management, 23rd-24th June 2016, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.

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The generation known as the 'Baby Boomers' has in recent years been subject to a large amount of negative claimsmaking, both with regard to its use of resources (housing, health care, pensions) and the values and behaviours attributed to the 'Sixties generation' (hedonism, narcissism, and an attachment to personal freedom). My study of the cultural script of the 'Baby Boomer problem' finds that claims are often contradictory, revealing an ambivalence about the social and cultural changes brought about by the Sixties and their apparent consequences in the present day. This paper addresses the contradictory claims-making about the practices and values associated with 'Boomer parents', who are simultaneously framed as irresponsible and self-absorbed, and for being overly risk-averse and obsessed with their children. Debates about 'helicopter parenting', the adoption of new technology, reproductive choice, and the extent to which Boomer parents support their children financially and emotionally reveal these contradictions in specific, but related, ways.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Jennie Bristow
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2016 10:48
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2016 10:48

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00