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VOLUME 6 (2004), ISSUE 11 (YEARLY)


The Intergenerational Contract in a Selfish Age  

Harley Schreck



The author shows that in Northeast Minneapolis, the intergenerational contract is weak vis-à-vis the distancing of both the older adults and their neighbors from each other. He studies the possibilities of dispelling this form of "selfishness" by bridging the gaps between these intergenerational contracts. Among them, the calls for dismantling of existing services for the older adults, in favor of self-reliance and heavier dependence on family and friends, and the building of trust and community networks through social institution mediums, such as churches.


Intergenerational contract - Selfish - Individualism - Free Market - Community Responsibility - Reciprocity - Aging - Old Persons 


Pr Harley SCHRECK is an anthropologist who previously worked with World Vision, an international Christian aid and development agency. Apart from teaching urban courses in Amsterdam, he also works with research students in Northeast Minneapolis. Pr SCHRECK specializes in areas such as the understanding of the city and the church's mission in the city, and he has experience in working with the elderly. In 2000, Pr SCHRECK received the Bethel College faculty excellence in service award.


This article is a revised version of a paper presented at The First International Conference of The Social Capital Foundation, held in Brussels, Belgium, on May 12-13, 2004.


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