The Public (Re-)Negotiation of Intergenerational Solidarity and Responsibility in the Corona- Pandemic – Media Discourse Analysis and Ethical Evaluation (PRISMAE)

Funded by: Volkswagen Stiftung

Duration: 2021-2022


In a nutshell:

In public and policy debates on the Corona-pandemic notions of solidarity and responsibility between the generations appear as a central but unclear and ambiguous point of reference. Both concepts coincide in discourses that address different age groups: Whereas younger generations are invoked to commit themselves to public health restrictions (e.g., social distance, isolation, lockdown) to protect the elderly, the latter are confronted with the perception of these measures as sacrifices imposed on younger generations and their future.

This project seeks to explore the moral and political implications of these positions as well as the ongoing public (re-)negotiation of intergenerational solidarity and responsibility in the context of COVID 19.

Combining sociological analysis and ethical reflection of the media discourse in Germany will not only provide results for an urgently needed clarification and orientation regarding crucial normative principles in the current crisis, but also offers a chance to address and discuss the fundamental moral constitution of intergenerational relations in contemporary aging societies.

Project members:

Dr. Larissa Pfaller

Irmgard Steckdaub-Muller

Prof. Dr. Mark Schweda

Niklas Ellerich-Groppe


  • Ellerich-Groppe, Niklas / Pfaller, Larissa / Schweda, Mark (2021): Young for old—old for young? Ethical perspectives on intergenerational solidarity and responsibility in public discourses on COVID-19. European Journal of Ageing. Open Access:
  • Ellerich-Groppe, Niklas / Schweda, Mark / Pfaller, Larissa (2020): #StayHomeForGrandma – Towards an analysis of intergenerational solidarity and responsibility in the coronavirus pandemic. Social Sciences & Humanities Open, 2 (1). Opec Access:

  • Steckdaub-Muller (WiSe 21/22): Seminar: „Jugendbilder – Altersbilder. Generationenbeziehungen im gesellschaftlichen Wandel“