What the youth think
#GenerationsWithAVoice aimed to identify the dominant views of younger generations on intergenerational fairness.
This study also aimed to promote the intergenerational dialogue through the encouragement of exchanged knowledge between generations, allowing the reflection about the way each generation uses the available resources and its impact in the life quality of its successors.
What do young people think about intergenerational fairness?
This study conducted individual and focus group interviews with young people born in 2002 and 2004, interleaved by moments where the young people interviewed their parents, uncles, grandparents or other people from elder generations of their communities, in order to compare their position before and after this intergenerational dialogue.
Young people believe that their generation has a far higher level of concern, knowledge and action when comparing to the generations of their parents and grandparents, in particular in relation to environmental issues.
In spite of this, they recognise that their knowledge and action capacity are below the level of concern they expressed. They also believe that their descendants will have a higher level of knowledge and action capacity.
The Intergenerational dialogue is an important process in deconstructing beliefs and myths among generations.
Before the dialogue with their parents, grandparents and other reference people, young people apportioned “the blame” of the current problems to the past generations, mainly in issues connected to the environment; after the dialogue, young people framed these issues with another angle, taking into account the lack of resources of old times, and they understood that even so there were lots of sustainable actions, such as the use of cloth bags to buy bread, glass bottles to buy milk, the reuse of cloths by the families, as well as a lower usage of particular vehicles.
Key concern areas of the Portuguese young people
School is the central scenario and the main engine for the implementation of the biggest part of the strategies suggested by young people.
Young people seek from school more awareness and capacitation for skills development in areas such as youth political participation, financial management, and others.
They consider that the development of programs, platforms and enquiries (with digital support) that allows the research and promotion of intergenerational fairness and the youth participation on the definition of public polices, may also ease the intergenerational dialogue – on a familiar, school and community level.
Study directed by Margarida Gaspar de Matos and Cátia Branquinho (FMH-UL – Faculdade de Motricidade Humana da Universidade de Lisboa).