Intergenerational Solidarity in the Workplace: Can It Solve Europe's Labor Market and Social Welfare Crises?

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Abstract

Starting from the main criticalities that young and old people meet in contemporary labor markets, this article analyses the principle of solidarity between generations at work, in light of a multidisciplinary (especially sociological) literature. This offers different conceptual lenses for understanding complex relationships in workplaces. They provide different ways to understand micro-level interpersonal relations and macro-level structural forces and the interactions between them, arriving to define which kind of solidarity may be realistically proposed in contemporary labor markets. Then, intergenerational relations are briefly collocated in European Union debate aiming to promote a cohesive society. In the second part, four country cases are presented to demonstrate how the matter of intergenerational relations has influenced recent labor reforms. Following van der Veen, Yerkes, and Achterberg, who found differences in the choice of justice principles and in the level of solidarity preferred by social groups living in different welfare regimes, to reduce the complexity of the analysis, countries belonging to the same welfare regime have been chosen. Finally, measures presented are critically discussed in the more general context of European labor market and social welfare crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalSAGE Open
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • intergenerational solidarity
  • labour policies
  • politiche del lavoro
  • solidarietà intergenerazionale
  • welfare
  • welfare regimes

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