Generations and life worlds: the case of Braga in Portugal

Eduardo Duque, José F. Durán Vázquez

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Abstract

The objective of this research is to present the primary results of a study on generations and generational relationships in Braga, Portugal, specifically in the spheres of family, school, work, leisure and consumption, and religion. For this purpose, three generational cohorts were differentiated, belonging to those born in the decades 1940–1950, 1965–1975, and 1990–2000. This work will focus on the first of these generations, 1940–1950. To carry out this research, each generation was structured based on gender and social class, and qualitative (Life Stories) and quantitative (questionnaires) techniques were used. We started from the hypotheses suggested by previous research (blinded for review) and confirmed by the one being developed that it is possible to observe certain generational connections, despite the divisions related to gender and social class that exist within them (a division that gains greater visibility in the qualitative dimension), and that relationships between generations cannot be approached from theoretical models based on mere reproduction or opposition. Instead, we must grasp these relationships through more complex and dynamic processes, through which they will reconfigure and rework what is transmitted and what is received by each generation, resulting in a unique outcome that will be explored in this work. The religious dimension, which was previously a naturally assumed and lived tradition, ceased to be recognised as an identity determinant by the younger generations. As a result, the cultural heritage is no longer passed down as tradition. In this sense, there is a whole “integral ecology” (LS 159), in its broadest sense, recovering that is capable of cementing principles and values that unite generations and give meaning to life. To carry out this research, a theoretical and analytical framework has been established based on the following dimensions: transmissions (concerning the narratives and the people who appear as their referents); temporalities that articulate both the relationships within each generation and between generations; spaces, structures, and rituals that make up and give meaning to the transmissions; recognised debts, obligations, and interdependencies; expectations and achievements; and tensions between the expected and the achieved.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1413
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalReligions
Volume14
Issue number1413
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2023

Keywords

  • Generations
  • Life worlds
  • Family
  • School
  • Work
  • Leisure
  • Religious
  • Portugal

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