Grandparenting in the 21st century is at the heart of profound family and societal changes. It is of increasing social and economic significance yet many dimensions of grandparenting are still poorly understood. Contemporary Grandparenting is the first book to take a sociological approach to grandparenting across diverse country contexts and combines new theorising with up-to-date empirical findings to document the changing nature of grandparenting across global contexts.
In this highly original book, leading contributors analyse how grandparenting differs according to the nature of the welfare state and the cultural context, how family breakdown influences grandparenting, and explore men's changing roles as grandfathers. Grandparents today face conflicting norms and expectations about their roles, but act with agency to forge new identities within the context of societal and cultural constraints.
Contemporary Grandparenting illuminates key issues relevant to students and researchers from sociology and social policy, including in the fields of family, childhood, ageing and gender studies.
"Will the 21st century be the 'grandparents' century'? We may believe so from reading this collection of contributions by leading scholars from all over the world, showing how grandparents are becoming a 'pivot generation' within families and within society. One of the great qualities of this book is its demonstration of a phenomenon which still remains underestimated." Claudine Attias-Donfut, Associate Senior Researcher, Edgar Morin Centre, Paris (CNRS/EHESS) (National Centre for Scientific Research/School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences)
"This insightful and penetrating analysis shows how modern grandparenthood shapes and is shaped by the changing social and economic contexts of family relationships. The skilful integration of contributions from around the globe is a unique strength." Anne Martin-Matthews, Department of Sociology, University of British Columbia
Sara Arber is Professor of Sociology, and Co-Director, Centre for Research on Ageing and Gender (CRAG), University of Surrey, UK. She received the British Society of Gerontology Outstanding Achievement Award in 2011.
Virpi Timonen is Associate Professor and founding Director of the Social Policy and Ageing Research Centre at the School of Social Work and Social Policy in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.
Introduction: A new look at grandparenting ~ Virpi Timonen and Sara Arber; Section One: Grandparenting responding to economic and family transformations; Transformations in the role of grandparents across welfare states ~ Katharina Herlofson and Gunhild O Hagestad; The well-being of grandparents caring for grandchildren in rural China and the United States ~ Lindsey Baker and Merril Silverstein; Grandmothers juggling work and grandchildren in the United States ~ Madonna Harrington Meyer; Solidarity, ambivalence and multigenerational co-residence in Hong Kong ~ Lisanne SF Ko; Grandparenting in the context of care for grandchildren by foreign domestic workers ~ Shirley Hsiao-Li Sun; Section Two: Grandparenting indentities and agency; Being there yet not interfering: The paradoxes of grandparenting ~ Vanessa May, Jennifer Mason & Lynda Clarke; Grandparental agency after adult children's divorce ~ Virpi Timonen & Martha Doyle; Grandfathering: The construction of new identities and masculinities ~ Anna Tarrant; Understanding adolescent grandchildren's influence on their grandparents ~ Alice Delerue Matos and Rita Borges Neves; Social contact between grandparents and older grandchildren: A three generation perspective ~ Katharina Mahne & Oliver Huxhold; Grandparenting in the twenty-first century: New directions ~ Sara Arber & Virpi Timonen.