Global Generation(s) and Higher Education: Some Reflections on the Use of Ulrich Beck’s Concepts in the Polish Context

Author: Mirosław Kowalski
Institution: University of Zielona Góra
Author: Łukasz Albański
Institution: Pedagogical University of Cracow
Year of publication: 2018
Source: Show
Pages: 51-64
DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/kie.2018.02.03
PDF: kie/120/kie12003.pdf

At the beginning of 21st century, we are witnessing a global transformation of the generational dynamics that exacerbate intra-generational tensions across ethnic lines. Amid crises, global challenges and deep-seated insecurity are interwoven with the turmoil of the present. With the instability of an increasingly complex world, young people are highly exposed to the forces of global risks. All young people are affected, but not all young people equally. Therefore, global generations break down into different fractions in a conflictual relationship with each other. This article outlines Beck’s major concepts in order to show some theoretical frameworks for the study on global generations. The focus is on the role of the university that should play in the contemporary world. The example of Poland seems to be particularly relevant to the discussion about the validity of Beck’s contribution to understanding of divisions, contradictions, and desires of the global generations. Many young Poles appear to be open for migratory experiences, but at the same time, they are reluctant to accept immigration to Poland. The article attempts to explore some contexts of mixed feelings about migration such as individuality and insecurity, media and the culture of catastrophe, education and neoliberal agenda. Nevertheless, the main goal of the article is to reconsider the role of education in times of rapid migration and generational interconnectedness.

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