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Dr. Henk A. Becker


Dr. Henk A. Becker

Emeritus Professor of Sociology,
and Methodology of Social Research

1968 -1998, Universiteit Utrecht






Generaties van geluksvogels en pechvogels

Grote maatschappelijke gebeurtenissen smeden losse aantallen tijdgenoten tot generaties samen. Elke generatie heeft met bedreigingen en kansen te maken. Elke generatie herbergt geluksvogels en pechvogels. Bij sommige generaties gaat het om relatief veel geluksvogels, bij andere om relatief veel pechvogels. De geluksvogels proberen hun gunstige positie te behouden en zo mogelijk te versterken. De pechvogels doen hun best om hun lot te verbeteren. In onze tijd moeten de jongere generaties assertief hun kans op gunstig opgroeien en een stevige economische positie verdedigen. De oudere generaties vormen met hun zilvergrijs menselijk kapitaal een goudmijn, die wij in de komende decennia hard nodig zullen hebben om de te verwachten reeks explosies van de demografische tijdbom op niveau te overleven.

Generations of Lucky Devils and Unlucky Dogs

Silver-grey manpower is a gold mine to society. One by one, the baby boom cohorts will reach the age of 65 starting from 2010. They are large cohorts, relatively well educated and healthy with considerable pension and health care rights. In short, they are lucky devils. As a result of ageing, cohorts that were born in 1985 onwards and that enter the labour market as from approximately 2010 will be required to pay many additional taxes during the course of their entire working life spanning more than forty years. They are, in short, unlucky dogs. Redistribution of joys and burdens could trigger conflicts between generations. A better solution is to identify and deploy society’s hidden resources.
Taking this issue as a basis, the book in hand explores strategies that enable senior citizens and young people to give meaning to solidarity among generations, for a start in 2012 as the European Year for Active Ageing, but also as part of Europe 2020, the European Commission’s 2010-2020 strategy.
With these two strategies journalists and television producers will swing into action. In secondary and higher education as well as in universities more papers on life courses and patterns of generations will be written than ever before. Senior citizens’ unions but actually all social organizations will organize lectures. Educated laymen will wish to go deeply into this issue.

Latest publication

Henk A. Becker & Zoltán Lippényi (2012, 2013). ‘Generaties en meertaligheid’, in:  Henk A. Becker (2012, 2013). Generaties van Geluksvogels en Pechvogels: Strategieën voor assertief opgroeien, actief ouder worden en intergenerationele solidariteit tot 2030. Amsterdam: Dutch University Press. Blz. 141-150.

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