Intergenerational cohesion

How did younger people and the elderly stay in contact during the pandemic? This project will investigate social contact between the generations and recommend ways of strengthening intergenerational cohesion in our aging society.

  • Project description

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    In the challenging context of the pandemic, intergenerational contact was very important to social cohesion and individual and collective welfare. The project aims to identify the factors that support and hinder satisfying intergenerational contact amid Covid’s challenges. To do this, the research group will apply a triangulation of qualitative and quantitative methods. First, it will perform a secondary review of existing international survey data. Then, it will conduct in-depth qualitative interviews with people of different age groups in professional and private contexts. Finally, it will carry out a nationwide quantitative survey. Partnership with national-level Swiss practitioners will provide a combination of academic and real-world expertise.

  • Background

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    Society is starting to grasp the fundamental impact that the pandemic had on it. To help further this understanding, the project will focus on how people established intergenerational contact in spite of strict pandemic rules and sometimes fiercely held diverging opinions on Covid. It will shed light on the creative methods used for contact between younger and older people. This will be especially valuable in our rapidly aging society, which already suffers from intergenerational frictions.

  • Aim

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    The project’s aim is twofold. First, it aims to map and evaluate the various innovative ways in which people established intra- and intergenerational contact during Covid restrictions in both the private and professional context. Second, it will use these research findings to present policy recommendations to strengthen intra- and intergenerational social cohesion.

  • Relevance

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    This project will use a multimodal research design (including existing data sets, interviews, and a nationwide survey) to provide robust new knowledge about how social relations, connectedness and a sense of the common good were maintained during the pandemic. The research results will inform recommendations on strengthen post-pandemic intergenerational social cohesion in Switzerland.

  • Application

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    Using the expertise gained during the pandemic, the project will generate evidence-based knowledge for decision makers in social organisations and government. The objective is to provide effective support for social cohesion as society continues its post-pandemic convalescence. As such, the findings of the project will contribute to strengthening social cohesion within and between generations. This will in turn help make society and individuals more resilitent during future pandemics or crises.

  • Original title

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    Intergenerational cohesion during Covid-19 and beyond