chapter  6
20 Pages

Old people and their families in the English past

WithPat Thane

Plato’s Republic opens with a discussion between Socrates and an older man, who comments on the conviction among his friends that younger people were more neglectful and disrespectful of their aged parents than they used to be. He strongly disagrees.2 Such assertions and disagreements recur so regularly through the centuries to the present that they suggest the significance of this aspect of intergenerational relationships in western culture and continuing insecurity and uncertainty as to its character.