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What is different to our grandparents

(40 Posts)
Denialistheway Wed 10-Aug-11 08:02:00

I think this is the question we need to be asking ourselves. No excuses, no justifications, no denial.

Now there have always been riots the world over since recorded history BUT what have we (and yes it is this generation) done differently that has damaged society to this point. There are problems to numerous to count and I think (hope) everyone is aware of them.

Why have so many youths got this sense of entitlement. With so little respect for people, authority, property, parents, elders, etc. Why have clothes, phones and things become top priority along with hanging out and not helping out?

And the biggest question is why are we not looking at what we have done to "break" society and constantly denying what is wrong?

Have TV/media played a part? Is it such freely available communication. Or is it human rights gone mad? At some point with human rights, anothers rights are infringed upon in order to give another their rights. Have we gone pc to the point of no return?

If we go back to basics, were the "elders" not always to be respected as they were the ones who had actually lived and experienced what the younger generation only heard about? When we disregard the elders are we not just raising kids on books, hearsay and what we think is right and not on actual experience that the "elders" have actually lived?

We cannot blame underprivileged, poverty, etc. We can look all over the world for people who are truly underprivileged and in true poverty and this has also happened since time began. We only need look at the great depression, many parts of Africa/India to see hardship. What I am talking about is western society and where it is at.

I dont know the answers but would be interested to hear others views. Name change if you need to but I would love to hear what you honestly think the problem is.

marriedinwhite Wed 10-Aug-11 08:36:25

My grandparents remembered consequences (1909/1912). They remembered workhouses, they remembered pregnant girls being sent to asylums. They were proud and they were conscious that their behaviour would mould what others thought of them and they wanted others to think well of them. My grandad told me that my grandma never recovered from the fact that my mum got pregnant and had a shotgun wedding and even then was sent to Brighton for a year with her husband (rent all funded, etc) to dilute the shame. Yes, that was it shame - people didn't want to feel it.

There was also authority and there were stable family units and society had not become politically correct. A policeman could and did clip an ear and mostly parents were grateful for it. Nobody would have said to a teacher "you can't tell me off, you told me off because I'm black, you're a racist". Give teachers back the power to say "no I didn't I told you off because you are disruptive and insolent - if you want to learn sit down, sit still and be quiet - if you don't get out and let everyone else learn". In those days respect was freely given and there was an understanding that it had to be earnt too.

There wasn't a welfare state or an NHS or a sense of entitlement - people had to work for everything they had and when things went wrong it was families and communities and the church that stepped in. There was no media and far less greed and expectation. Life was simpler; death and failure were closer. Young men were called up to fight and to conform to military discipline twice in my grandparents memories.

We can't turn the clock back but we have to reintroduce routes for success, reintroduce authority within education, reintroduce consequences - being underprivileged has to stop being an excuse for anyone who is a different colour or who is poor or who is from a dysfunctional background.

kittensliveupstairs Wed 10-Aug-11 08:38:52

Idealsistic much marriedinwhite

EdithWeston Wed 10-Aug-11 08:44:20

There have been riots through British and European history.

The men of WW1 generation had probably seen more than enough carnage and destruction in the trenches to want to see it at home, so the level of rioting was atypically low. And it's possible that culling young men might have alter the balance of society in ways that reduce violence.

I don't think the events of the last few days have anything in common with previous riots though - in the past, there was usually a clear unified purpose and the escalation to violence rose from protest.

We've just had an uncontrolled orgy of copycat theft, arson and random criminal damage.

marriedinwhite Wed 10-Aug-11 08:45:47

Idealistic kittens - please reread "death and failure were closer. Young men were called up to fight and conform to military discipline twice in my granparents' memories" n- actually my grandma lost two brothers in WWII and her father served in Egypt in WWI and my great grandmother lost two brothers to that war. There was a workhouse, there was no NHS, there were asylums for the immoral.

TrillianAstra Wed 10-Aug-11 08:47:08

YABU because you have not asked an "Am I Being Unreasonable?" question.

And YABVU for using the phrase "human rights gone mad". If anyone tried to take away any of your human rights you'd know about it and would not be happy.

ZZZenAgain Wed 10-Aug-11 08:50:46

too lazy to name change

I think two main things are different:
1) the adulation of youth and the creation of a teenage world with all the rubbishy tv series and brand clothing and everything that is geared towards it because IMO the creation of "youth culture" is a business driven marketing gag which we all are so used to now , no one even queries it. When my grandparents were teenagers, there was no teenage culture. They were in training to be adults and that was it.

2) in the past people cared about/worried about how other people judged them - to the extent that they might not marry someone people disapproved of or dare to hang up their washing on a Sunday even. We have taught our youth and each other not to care about other peoples' opinions, to be ourselves, to stand by our opinions, live how we want etc. (This is not necessarily bad in itself but has the effect of weakening the containing influence of societal expectation). Why do people develop a sense of community, of duty, of civil responsibility? - essentially I believe because it is society's expectation of them and they care how their neighbours judge them.

anewnametoday Wed 10-Aug-11 08:55:43

There are so many reasons. And this won't be very eloquent. It's early and the children have just got up...

- The internet gives a voice to people who previously would not have had one. Therefore the depraved and criminal can find each other, validate themselves and act on their instincts.

- There is, rightly or wrongly, a huge sense of inequity in the country.

- A government that has been proved to have been corrupt and that has engineered certain social inequalities because it benefits those in government to do so. Think overinflated houseprices and MP property portfolios/flipping homes. If houseprices fell then property investors would sell, that would increase supply and make them more affordable and those with money to invest would invest in businesses etc that would benefit society and they would still make money.

- A society that values and celebrates the loud, boorish and talentless. Think Big Brother.

My DS is already worrying about HE, buying a house, the chances of him getting a job. It's what he and his friends are talking about. He's in year 8.

The future for teenagers now is a university education that is so expensive it is unlikely they will ever pay it off, houses that are so expensive that even/especially with a university education they will be unable to afford one, poor job prospects, a sense of frustration that they see others benefiting from an unfair status quo that the government are intent on maintaining.

Parents who micromanage their children's lives so intensely that when they get a sniff of independence they haven't learned any self discipline and engage in the behaviours that they should have got out of their systems when they were children.

Parents who don't actually parent their children.

There are loads more and I think these issues bridge all social classes and races.

anewnametoday Wed 10-Aug-11 08:56:45

Oh and what ZZZenAgain said

Tanif Wed 10-Aug-11 08:58:51

Our grandparents had a fantastic time, didn't they?

There were race riots in the 60s.

Young girls still got pregnant they just got institutionalised rather than educated in how to look after their babies.

Domestic violence was commonplace because it was expected that a man should discipline his wife and child, until 1990 a man couldn't rape his wife as the crime didn't exist.

People went hungry and cold in the winter.

Children were expected to work from the age of 12, and continuing education was far beyond the reach of the working classes so there was no chance to better oneself.

I know the argument will be that these youths are just rioting for the hell of it, but if they had work to get up for in the morning the chances are they would have been safely tucked up in their beds getting their eight hours. Kids today don't have a sense of entitlement, I think it's more a sense of disillusion.

Our grandparents had the luxury of learning a trade. They accepted that not everyone was going to be a doctor or lawyer and that some people were more adept with using their hands. We had a massive labour industry; we had the coal mines, nationalised rail, nationalised utilities, all places that those that aren't academically gifted could get a decent wage and earn a crust.

What do today's youth have to look forward to when they leave school? We're now an economy driven by the service industry and that is not sustainable. If the government really want to stop these riots, bring back our industry, give these disillusioned youngsters something they can actually do, rather than continually telling them what they can't do.

Pippaandpolly Wed 10-Aug-11 09:02:36

I think in general people used to be a lot mire involved in parenting their children. Obviously most parents now are completely fine in this regard, but there does seem to be a number who aren't interested. What saddened me watching the footage of the riots was how young most of the rioters were-I kept thinking, where do their parents think they are?

DamselInDisarray Wed 10-Aug-11 09:14:01

I love how the 'underclass' is always painted out of the past in these kind of sepia-toned discussions.

Victorian society (and before) was very concerned about the immorality of the poor in 'rookeries' and what should be done about it. They wrote books and pamphlets and newspaper articles about these dreadful types who had no respect, no work-ethic, no sense of duty, no parenting skills, etc, etc. The same kinds of concerns have circulated around for a considerable time.

Sound familiar anyone?

EdithWeston Wed 10-Aug-11 09:14:18

Umm - some generational problems here! The 1960s is MY lifetime [old git emoticon].

These riots - the socialist riots of 1887 occurred in the decade my grandparents were born.
There were major riots every decade in the 19th century, and before that. The low level around the major wars of 20th century is probably an atypical blip.

Is anyone here a guru on crime statistics through the twentieth century. We are nowadays told only the increased year on year, or some other short point if comparison. Standing ready to be corrected - there was a huge increase in the per capita crime rates in the 1960s, and the levels of crime in general which society lives with is much, much higher than in my grandparents day. Is the previous lower crime rate another war-related blip?

Denialistheway Wed 10-Aug-11 09:24:33

Sorry just to add, I am not speaking of just the UK or even Europe here. As much as the UK is in the news right now, the western world as a whole needs to ask this.

I am not saying our grandparents had a wonderful time at all. I am however saying that they didnt turn out to be raging serial killers or terrible people even though they had a bit if fear instilled in them and did things we would never dream of doing. Can we look at what is happening and what our grandparents, great-grandparents did and go forward with their knowledge and ours?

To TrillianAstra yes human rights can go mad! There are countries where repeat murderers can vote for who runs the country. I personally believe this is an example of human rights gone mad.

Denialistheway Wed 10-Aug-11 09:27:34

Sorry Im going to add this as well. Could it be that our children are bored? Yes they have TV, games, phones, etc but could it be that they dont get enough time to just play and be children?

I really dont know the answer to this and am really asking for peoples views about going forward and what we need to look at in order to be "better" as society.

DamselInDisarray Wed 10-Aug-11 09:29:49

Oh, OP hat utter nonsense.

Some of our grandparents or great grandparents generation did turn out to be Bad People who killed and stole and neglected their children because they spent all their money down the pub and all the other things that you're imagining is unique to young people right now.

Look at the historical literature. Read the court records. Read the parliamentary debates about these issues.

DamselInDisarray Wed 10-Aug-11 09:30:14

*what utter nonsense

Denialistheway Wed 10-Aug-11 09:33:20

Tanif you have a brilliant point about industry. It does seem that everyone is striving to go to university and go into a profession. That seems to be how people perceive success. I dont know many people any more who from little want to go into a trade or say things like "when I grow up I want to be a farmer".

If you think about university, they dont teach hands on skills like farming, mining, things like that. Those things have falled by the wayside to a large degree and many more are looking to head for corporate.

Is this because there are so few little shops/busineses around but rather large corporations that chew up the little man business so the only option looks to be to work for those big corporations?

Denialistheway Wed 10-Aug-11 09:34:51

Really Damsel? Utter nonsense? Are you bothering to actually ask the questions? When something bad happens do you sit and try and see what went wrong or do you just sit and complain? What solutions have you come up with?

ZZZenAgain Wed 10-Aug-11 09:37:16

I think it depends on our own age what we are talking about a bit when we talk about the time our grandparents grew up in. My grandfathers for instance fought in WW2 so when I am thining bout my grandparents being teenagers, I mean the between war years. Someone yunger than me is thinking of an entirely different era.

I hve been wondering a bit about the whole effect of war on those generations - of course there was a huge death rate amongst young men which would have influenced society considerably I should have thought. A gneration earlier - my great grandparents' time was WW1 , so the same again. A lot of the "disaffected youth" and angry young men were out being killed overseas. Not of course that I am in any way advocating this as a solution but I think it may have cloaked the problem a bit. War provided a legitimate outlet for anger expressed in violence which would have been criminal in civilian life.

ZZZenAgain Wed 10-Aug-11 09:37:48

my dd wants to be a farmer denial

Denialistheway Wed 10-Aug-11 09:39:02

Damsel do you honestly believe the young people today are the same as our grandparents were? That there are no new problems with the world and everything is just the same as it was?

I did ask "I would love to hear what you honestly think the problem is". If you dont feel there is one then Im very pleased but its not what was asked.

FreudianSlipper Wed 10-Aug-11 09:41:47

read about the riots in east london

i woudl far rather live in our times (not that i have any choice in the matter) than my nannys. if you were poor you stayed poor your life was mapped out, you put up and shut up, physical and sexual abuse was jsut part of life, men were labeled as pests rather that what there really were and that was abusers,

some things are very wrong in our society, we have a corrupt banking system that controls the economy, corrupt mp's and a corrupt police force then we wonder why children are behaving in a corrupt way too. it can all be fixed, it will never be perfect and it never has been but life is certainly fairer for the majority than it ever has been (still not quite there yet thought)

ilovemydogandMrObama Wed 10-Aug-11 09:42:06

I don't understand. What do the riots and human rights have in common? confused

Denialistheway Wed 10-Aug-11 09:42:34

Good point ZZZ about the wars.

When I say grandparents, I am talking more generally about grandparents/great-grandparents, etc. I mean our forefathers. I really am wondering what has gone wrong and what can we do/change to help mend it.

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