Social Science blog

10 October 2013

Part 3 of the 'iPod generation': all doom and gloom?

Abiola Olanipekun recently finished her internship at the British Library. In this blog post, number three in a series about the ‘iPod generation’, she reflects on the last two reports by Refrom in their own series which were published in 2007 and 2008. The full reports by Reform can be found on the Management and Business Studies Portal.

As my cherished audience, you all be aware by now that I am writing a blog post series which examines reports about the ‘iPod Generation’. These reports are currently available on the Management & Business portal and should you need to view the last blog post that I wrote then please click here.

This blog post focus on the final two reports: ‘Class of 2007: Inaction sinks the IPOD generation’ and ‘Money’s too tight to mention: will the IPOD generation ever trust financial services?’ which were published in 2007 and 2008 respectively. They are the final reports on the iPod generation published by Reform as part of their series which focusses on 18-34 year olds in the UK – a generation who according to Reform are Insecure, Pressurised, Over-taxed and Debt-ridden.

The reports examine the UK cohort in the context of the global debates about generational differences and increasing economic insecurity, as set out in the previous reports on the classes of 2005 and 2006. There is significant focus on the issue of an ageing population and the impact of the ‘baby boomer’ generation now reaching retirement age. Reform outline how organisations such as the OECD bring together issues of global economic insecurity and the need for structural reform around pensions and healthcare (e.g. in their Economic Outlook reports), to highlight the considerable concern around the different burdens and financial situations for different generational groups.

If you have read my previous blog posts, you will know that I have found these reports to resonate with my own experiences and also to not be entirely positive about the future for my generation! Nonetheless, the most recent of the reports was published 5 years ago and I have tried to bear this in mind when reading them. When in a positive mood I tell myself that perhaps current policy and ideology may resolve (or already have resolved) some of the issues highlighted…different solutions may have been proposed. I start to think that we should avoid being consumed by the sombre message and take it all with a precautionary pinch of salt. Yet, the almost universal view among people I know seems to be that the generation of young people are trapped in financial doom and gloom.

The full reports are available on the Management and Business Studies portal at the British Library. If you have read my previous posts, and are interested in young people in the UK and their prospects, you might want to read them and build your own view.

Overall, I am trying to maintain the hope that the economy may change for the better, policies may be directed differently and the outlook for my generation may begin to look better than these reports have predicted. The reports are definitely helpful in understanding the economic situation of the 18-34 generation during the period 2005 – 2008, but they have to be read within the current context and with a critical eye.


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