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The ‘Boomer remover’: intergenerational discounting, the coronavirus, and climate change

Elliott, Rebecca ORCID: 0000-0001-6983-7026 (2022) The ‘Boomer remover’: intergenerational discounting, the coronavirus, and climate change. Sociological Review, 70 (1). 74 - 91. ISSN 0038-0261

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Identification Number: 10.1177/00380261211049023


Based on an analysis of Twitter data, this article examines the appearance of generational ideas in the ways that people have defined the experience and significance of the coronavirus and climate change, as well as related them to each other. I characterize the narrative frame as one of intergenerational discounting: a description of breakdown in reciprocal obligations of care, giving rise to accusations of hypocrisy, expressions of resentment and rage, and the description of the virus as the ‘Boomer remover’. This frame normatively licenses withdrawal from intergenerational action in pursuit of collective objectives, as well as erases the disproportionate negative effects of crisis conditions on those facing intersecting intragenerational disadvantages. In addition to analysing a strategic but thus far unexplored data source for social problems theory and the sociology of generations – tweets – the article contributes to this scholarship by demonstrating how generational ideas work to morally link different conditions to each other.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2021 10:21
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2024 16:03

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