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This paper, based on qualitative fieldwork conducted in a metallurgical company, shows how managerial policies in human resource management can generate or strengthen intergenerational tensions. Whereas these situations of tension, at work or elsewhere, are often explained as irreconcilable and inherent generational differences, this study enables us to see what is really at stake. It reveals that these intergenerational tensions must be linked to academic backgrounds of each generation, but also to the way these backgrounds are appreciated and valued in the company. The analysis will show how this kind of career management may interfere with intergenerational cooperation. However, an intergenerational socialization in the workplace can help overcome these oppositions.


  • intergenerational conflict
  • schooling
  • career management
  • intergenerational socialization
Séverine Misset
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