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I am still hoping that mention of austerity natives was a joke. There are still people living (it is only the 30th anniversary of the 1984 miners' strike) who have personal knowledge that can confound the idea that only today's youth are experts in austerity. I know form personal experience that today's youth are generally caring and I know that their outlook for jobs and pensions is gloomy compared with my own generation. What does concern me is their apparent lack of involvement in politics - offical or otherwise. I do like your questions - it's the use of the term 'austerity natives' that makes me shudder and I hope no policy wonks are watching;)

David Chapman

"Professors used to be part of the prosperous middle class, now they hover just above the precariat"

I presume that is a wind-up or throw-away comment, but, if you actually think your professor's salary and the job security that you have puts you *anywhere near* the precariousness of huge numbers of people even within the UK, perhaps I could introduce you to one or two people I know!

(I don't your salary because I don't know your grade or position on the scale, but I do know the minimum you could be getting. And, yes, I'm a Senior Lecturer so my salary is not so very far below the professorial minimum, but then I do have a perfectly comfortable living.)


@Frances - yes, of course I know people have been through austerity before (my wife grew up in South Wales during the miner's strike for one). My point was that it's unusual for a generation to be worse off than their predecessors as they are predicting this one will be. I was just interested in what that does to their psychology and attitude to money really.

@David - just a silly joke to make the point about the downward pressure on all professions. Yes, I do know I'm not really near the precariat. There was a study recently though that far more people hover just above the precariat than before (not OU profs), and this has an effect on people's psychology and outlook (they feel less secure about life and the future). My point was I wonder what this means for today's youth after generations of general upward trends.


As a parent of adult children, I have been concerned that they are living in a world for which my parenting might not have properly prepared them. However, I am more concerned about the relative lack of interest/involvement in politics by their generation. Of course, http://agirlcalledjack.com/ is a shining counterexample.

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