Urbani izziv Volume 27, No. 1, June 2016
European Faculty of Law, Real Estate Law and Management, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Alenka TEMELJOTOV SALAJ
HIOA – Oslo and Akershus, University College of Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway
Intergenerational living: An intercultural comparison
This article explores the factors behind young adults living in shared households with their parents for an extended period of time. We were interested in finding out if they think the state should implement regulatory measures to help them become independent. Our hypothesis is that the young and old living together as an extended family is not an indicator of intergenerational symbiosis and solidarity, but rather a reflection of wider social and cultural processes regulating the life of society as a whole and the lives of individuals. The study was carried out in three different cultural environments: Slovenia, Serbia and Japan. The study showed that, despite the fact that they get along relatively well, young people living in a shared household with their parents still want to “go it alone” and they expect greater help from the state, through regulatory measures and fair distribution of social assistance between the “young” and the “old” generations, to create social and housing policies that are fairer and friendlier to young families. This would reduce the pressure on the family and the potential for conflict within it, as well as the potential for conflict between the state and the family. Japanese participants expressed the highest level of agreement with this, whereas Serbs expressed the lowest. In terms of sources of financing for buying a home, the Slovenian participants express the highest level of agreement when it comes to financing through loans, whereas Serbian and Japanese participants also count on their own financial resources, which we interpret as a typical social phenomenon of the intergenerational transfer of title or a demonstration of high expectations of financial assistance from relatives. However, we established that the significant intercultural difference in the monthly use of funds for housing rental or purchase can be indicative of the participants’ varying expectations and opportunities to enter the home-ownership world or an independent household.
young people, housing, intergenerational living, expectations, Slovenia, Serbia, Japan