Generational Politics, with Bobby Duffy

Entitled Boomers, neurotic Gen X-ers, lazy Millennials… can we really distinguish generational characteristics, and how true are the stereotypes? Bobby Duffy joins On Opinion for a bonus episode to explain what separates the generations, and what they have in common.

S2 E27: Generational Politics

“If you truly understand what’s different between generations, you have a much better idea of what’s coming up in the future.”

It turns out there are very real differences between the generations. Key external events - a world war, a crippling global financial crash, 911, or even a pandemic - will mark a generation in a way that differentiates them from previous or later ones.

But there are also slower cultural and technological differences that also make their mark: consider the dwindling role of religion across the West over 4 generations, or the impact of smart phones on the way we all think.

”The concept of the Generation is the most important one… because it is how history moves, changes, wheels and flows” Ortega y Gasset

Bobby Duffy has written the book on generational differences, and here explains what brings us together and splits us apart - from our attitudes to sex, money and moral values to the way we think of driving or home-ownership.

“Because we’re so deeply connected, looking at things generationally is really important to us because we want each generation after us to do better”

Listen to Bobby discuss:

  • How to go about defining generations
  • How we get our stereotypes right and wrong
  • Why Gen Z are in a ‘sex recession’
  • Why Gen X are so miserable
  • Whether the Baby Boomers really did have it so much easier
  • Whether there is space for the ‘individual’ in a demographic analysis of culture and personality
  • The 3 Key drivers of attitudinal change
  • And why we all live 200 years…

Read the Full Transcript

Bobby Duffy

Bobby Duffy is Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Policy Institute. He has worked across most public policy areas in his career of nearly 30 years in policy research and evaluation, including being seconded to the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. He is the author of Generations - Does when you’re born shape who you are?

On Opinion is a member of The Democracy Group, a network of podcasts that examines what’s broken in our democracy and how we can work together to fix it.

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This page was last edited on Monday, 15 Nov 2021 at 16:37 UTC