Generation Right

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20140616

20140616

It's a commonplace thought that the young start their lives as idealistic left-wingers, only to become more conservative with age. But are today's twenty-somethings going to debunk that as a myth? Extensive polling shows that in many respects, young people now are to the political right of their parents and grandparents when they were young. Their attitudes often appear characterised by a suspicion of collectivism and a greater scepticism towards the state.

This programme explores the reasons for this generational shift and its implications. It looks at the possible suggested causes, from the impact of policies which have reduced the level of support young people receive from the state, media coverage of the benefits system, the general decline in collectivist norms since the late 1970s, the rise of the consumer culture, to the role of social media which put the life and social interactions of the individual at the centre of everything.

Declan Harvey, a reporter on Newsbeat, and a team of young journalists examine the implications and ask what it might mean for the welfare state and the political landscape in the future.

Producers: Vicky Spratt, Lewis Goodall.