Article Information

“I ACTUALLY GREW UP WITH THEM...”: INTERGENERATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS THROUGH THE PRISM OF RETROSPECTIVE RECOLLECTIONS OF CHILDHOOD BY TODAY'S YOUTH

Oksana Besschetnova a (oksanabesschetnova@yandex.ru),

Svetlana Mayorova-Shcheglova b (sheglova-s@yandex.ru)

a Research Institute of Health Organization and Medical Management of the Moscow Department of Health, Moscow, Russia

b Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia

Citation: Besschetnova O., Mayorova-Shcheglova S. (2021) «Sobstvenno s nimi ya i vyrosla…»: vzaimootnosheniya pokoleniy cherez prizmu retrospektivnykh vospominaniy sovremennoy molodezhi o detstve [“I actually grew up with them...”: intergenerational relationships through the prism of retrospective recollections of childhood by today's youth]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 24(4): 110–137 (in Russian). https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2021.24.4.5 

Abstract. The article analyzes the intersubjective relations of different generations and identifies the most positive/negative sectors of interactions between generation Y (millennials) and other generations. Sociological research was carried out in 2020–2021 among university students of a megalopolis and a small town by the in-depth interview method (N=85). Retrospective recollections of students’ memories about their childhood show that younger family members also build intergenerational relationships as well as all other generations without any exception, the evidence of the variability of this social construct is recorded. It was found that intergenerational relationships in childhood directly affects the assessment of the respondents’ actual relationships with family members in adulthood: it becomes clear, the more benevolent they were in the past, the closer and trusting they are in the present and, hypothetically, in the future, and vice versa. Despite intergenerational differences, conflict relations are more characterized by the “children — parents” than “children — grandparents” system. The frequency of mentioning parents in the respondents’ narratives ranks third after grandparents and friends, which is presumably related to their absence due to employment. In this regard, the authors point out that the personified positive experience of interaction between young people and representatives of the older generation (more often grandmothers) is one of the important conditions for the formation of positive attitudes towards the elderly in general, intergenerational cohesion and, presumably at the macro level, social cohesion. The article summarizes six directions of destructive reduction of the spheres of older generation’ involvement in the care and upbringing of their grandchildren or great-grandchildren in modern Russia. The indicated transformations are considered as an imperative for changing the vector and measures of state social policy, as well as interdisciplinary generational research.

Keywords: generation, youth, students, generation theory, retrospective analysis, narrative, intergenerational interaction.

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