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Session Overview
RN13_02d_P: Intergenerational Relationships and Kinship Networks II
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Karen Vanderlinden, Ghent University
Session Chair: Lenka Formánková, Institute of Sociology, Czech Academy of Sciences
Location: PD.4.36
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: D, Level: 4.

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Linked Lives Across Borders: Forms of Romanian Family Solidarity in the Context of International Migration

Ionut Foldes

Babes-Bolyai University, Romania

[theme RN13_m]

Opening the national borders across Europe along with facilitating work permits for foreigners in Western Europe has an enormous impact amongst Romanians as well. In a struggling economic context – with increasing unemployment and high risk of poverty – determined by the transition to market liberalism (neoliberalism), a considerable number of Romanians seek financial security in western societies (i.e. Italy and Spain). Besides self-evident structural effects of international migration, considering the mezzo level, families and households, the present paper aims to understand how geographic distance influence adult-child – parent relationships. Comparing functional intergenerational solidarity between the time prior to migration and the current period, while at least one adult child lives in a different country, different patterns of family solidarities are to be expected. Descriptive results for parents with one migrated child showed that upward help transfers for household tasks and upward material support continues to exist across time. Even if national borders separate parents from their offspring, the last ones continue to offer support during visits. Moreover, high numbers of migrated adult-children were not involved in functional solidarity practices neither in the past nor currently. In reversion, it was observed that for a number of parents, upward money transfers started only after migration, while material support (household items, food etc.) from children stopped after they left the country. Against this background that defines the potential for intergenerational solidarity, cases of support transfers with more than one adult-child living abroad remains a subject for further investigation.

Exchange of practical intergenerational support. The perspective of elderly Romanians with migrant children

Mihaela Haragus

Babes-Bolyai University, Romania

RN13_m: Intergenerational relationships and kinship network

The large extent of work-related migration from Romania challenges the intergenerational relations through the geographical distance between adult children and their parents. We investigate how practical support (or assistance in form of time, a form of functional solidarity) flows between elderly parents living in Romania and their migrant adult children.

We capture the different ways of provision of support (direct provision with physical co-presence, direct provision at a distance, coordination, and delegation of support to a third person), and investigate the factors that lead to a more or less intense exchange of support, adopting a theoretical model that accounts for four conditional factors for solidarity: opportunities, needs, family and contextual-cultural structures. The data we work on come from a national survey of 1,500 elderly persons who have children who live abroad.

We have found that elderly in poor health, residing in rural areas are most likely to benefit from practical support in situations of co-presence, during children’s visits at home. Direct provision of practical support to migrant children in the destination countries (mainly grandchild care), in situations of co-presence, depends on the elderly opportunities to travel. Solidarity in the form of coordination and delegation of support exists when the elderly parents left behind are rather in poor health but not critical and when there are other family members around them, with whom the migrant children communicate and organize care from a distance.

Mature adults and the intergenerational solidarity within the family. The Spanish case

Rita Cavallotti, Francesco Marcaletti

Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Spain

The paper presents the preliminary results of a survey on intergenerational solidarity within the family carried out in Spain at the end of 2016, and based on a national quota-sample of the 65-74 years old residents with children still alive. The questionnaire has been administered with CAPI technique and led to collect 608 valid cases. Random sampling techniques have been adopted for each strata of the sample.

Following previous studies, the survey’s final goal is to provide evidence based data for reinterpreting both the sociological relational perspective applied to the study of the intergenerational solidarity within the family, and the classic Bengtson-Roberts theory. The data analysis is based on the calculation of indexes, the use of multi-variate techniques, and the analysis of familial and social networks.

The survey specifically focused the dimensions of – and the relations between –: the structure of the family and the intergenerational relationships; the familiar and friendship solidarity networks; the mutual orientation between generations; the memory and the feelings of gratefulness and equity; the health conditions and the leisure habits; the ICT use; the being in paid job; the participation in volunteering and social-political activities; the social capital; the values and the attitudes; the representations of the elderly condition; the financial condition.

The results of the analysis allow exploring the relevance of the structural solidarity dimensions (number, type, proximity of the family members, and so forth) in shaping the intergenerational solidarity within family, in relation with all the other solidarity dimensions already explored by the literature: associational, affectual, consensual, functional, and normative. Moreover, the results provide further evidence for the analysis of intergenerational solidarity according to the relational sociology paradigm.

Single mothers and intergenerational support patterns in Lithuania

Deimante Kuconyte-Budeliene

State scientific research institute Lithuanian Social Research Centre, Lithuania

Around 45 percent of single mothers with dependent children lives at-risk of poverty and according to this indicator country is among the leaders in EU countries. Research show, that for substantial part of single mothers the state support in cash is the main source of living. This proves that welfare state providing formal support is not fully corresponding to the needs of single mother families thus, the informal intergenerational support is especially significant. Thus this paper addresses several question: what models of intergenerational support to single mothers families could be distinguished? How they are perceived by women?

Existing research shows that intergenerational support helps to mitigate consequences of divorce to single mothers. Extend family members mostly provide financial, practical, information, childcare, nature support (Mudry, Kushner, Neufeld, 2010). Intergenerational support on macro level is influenced by the social policy, demographic and cultural determinants. On the meso level intergenerational support determine by the social class, the structure and type of family. On the micro level factors, such as - identity, reflexivity, role of the primary and secondary socialization.

The paper is based on the qualitative methodology. We conducted 20 biographic interview with divorced or separated single mothers, raising dependent children.

Primary research results revealed that intergenerational support models is oriented to childcare, provision of the material resources, practical support, social capital transfer from the mother's parental generation to the single mother. Our preliminary results show that four intergenerational support “top-down” could be distinguished. In the further analysis we will examine how these models are linked with the meso and micro levels determinants of the intergenerational support.

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