Old age in global perspective: cross-cultural and cross-national views by Steven M. Albert and Maria G. Cattell


In this article we contest the widespread view that the social or political consciousness that developed among South African youth, as a result of their role in the uprisings of the 1980s, led them to reject the authority of the older generation, in their families and generally. Using the results of a national probability-sample survey among youth of the four main race groups in South Africa, we argue that an assumed political consciousness is not a helpful variable to use in understanding South African youth and their attitudes towards the values of their parents. We go on to disaggregate youth according to parental presence and roles during childhood; to find various and changing patterns of parenting, including the importance of grandmothers; and to argue that intergenerational attitudes among young people differ importantly according to these differing formative experiences