Intergenerational Inequality?

Labour, Capital and Housing through the ages

Speaker: Brett Christophers

1pm-2.30pm, 13th May

DTH G1, Goldsmiths

Recent years have seen growing concern about so-called intergenerational inequality or unfairness. Housing is widely seen as integral to this inequality: not only do the elderly hold housing assets (the single most important component of personal wealth in most Western countries) disproportionately, but they have benefited disproportionately from unprecedented recent periods of price appreciation that have pushed affordability to equally unprecedented (unaffordable) levels.

In this paper, Brett Christophers will challenge this critique of intergenerational inequality, arguing that it distracts us from other, more fundamental bases of inequality, which are structurally endemic to capitalism. This is not to suggest that generational issues are irrelevant. But arguably more important than differences between generations is transmission between them: the intergenerational transmission, in other words, of structural inequalities. Within this, housing is important, indeed pivotal.

Brett Christophers is a Professor of Human Geography at Uppsala University. His books include Envisioning Media Power: On Capital and Geographies of Television, Banking across Boundaries: Placing Finance in Capitalism and, most recently, The Great Leveler: Capitalism and Competition in the Court of Law.

All are welcome and no registration is necessary. Feel free to bring a sandwich. Details on how to find Goldsmiths are here.