Stop Mugging Grandma The 'Generation Wars' and Why Boomer Blaming Won't Solve Anything Jennie Bristow

Publication date:
25 Jun 2019
Yale University Press
272 pages: 216 x 140mm
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A decisive intervention in the "war" between generations, asking who stands to gain from conflict between baby boomers and millennials

Millennials have been incited to regard their parents’ generation as entitled and selfish, and to blame the baby boomers of the Sixties for the cultural and economic problems of today. But is it true that young people have been victimized by their elders?

In this book, Jennie Bristow looks at generational labels and the groups of people they apply to. Bristow argues that the prominence and popularity of terms like "baby boomer," "millennial," and "snowflake" in mainstream media operates as a smoke screen—directing attention away from important issues such as housing, education, pensions, and employment. Bristow systematically disputes the myths that surround the "generational war," exposing it to be nothing more than a tool by which the political and social elite can avoid public scrutiny. With her lively and engaging style, Bristow highlights the major issues and concerns surrounding the sociological blame game.

Jennie Bristow is senior lecturer in sociology at Canterbury Christ Church University. She is the author of The Sociology of Generations and Baby Boomers and Generational Conflict. She is a frequent contributor to national print and broadcast media.

In Stop Mugging Grandma [the author] treats ‘generationalism’ not as an economic fact but a pernicious social and cultural narrative, largely analysed through the British debate” —David Willets, Financial Times

“A wide-ranging and thoughtful look at contemporary society … Eminently readable without sacrificing sophistication, many of Bristow’s views will be controversial and likely to spark further debate.” – Doug Owram, author of Born at the Right Time: A History of the Baby Boom Generation 

"Pitching young people against the old is unhelpful to us all, yet policymakers and journalists are increasingly looking to the blame game. Bristow expertly argues that the inter-generational contract is at risk — young and old must come together to tackle the issues of this generation and the next." - David Sinclair, Director of the International Longevity Centre UK

"A searing and spot on critique of the political hijacking of the generation debate." - Steven Roberts, Associate Professor of Sociology at Monash University.