Generational conflict in America is a middle-class phenomenon. The middle-class character of generational conflict is in part a function of the impact of the demands of post-industrial society on the children of the middle class. A second factor affecting generational conflict is a change in the pattern of childhood socialization within the middle class. The decisive factor affecting the intensity of generational conflict is the disillusionment of the young with the political and cultural systems of the society. This disillusionment is the product of a protracted series of confrontations between the younger and older generations over race, the Vietnam War, and cultural experimentation. The original hope that the society was receptive to innovation has been replaced by anger at the intractability of the "system."
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