Conference Agenda

RN13_03c: Intergenerational relationships and kinship networks II
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
4:00pm - 5:30pm

Session Chair: Isabella Crespi, University of Macerata
Session Chair: Anna Escobedo, University of Barcelona
Location: UP.2.220
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Second Floor Oxford Road


Eldercare in Family-based Models of Care – The Case of Poland and Portugal

Agnieszka Maria Furmańska-Maruszak, Anna Wójtewicz

Nicolas Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland, Poland

The family is the main provider of eldercare both in Portugal and in Poland. Changes in family roles and structure as well as projected significant increases of the proportion of the elderly in the coming decades lower the potential of traditionally provided informal care in analysed countries. The way the family is supported in its caring function by public policies reflects the extent to which familialistic approach has been put into practice. The aim of the paper is to check the presence of familization trends in policies of both countries by means of analysing the cash transfers for care, social and employment entitlements for carers (care leaves, flexible working hours, inclusion in social security schemes) as well as access and the organization of formal care in both countries. In order to do so we conduct comparative analysis of law regulations, Eurostat and OECD data as well as data provided by national statistical offices and social security institutions of analysed countries.

The study shows similarities in deficiencies of family care support in both countries (low level of cash transfers and not enough recognition of family carers) but also differences revealing better integration between health care and social care, better access to community care and more regional disparities in Portugal. Moreover, high demand for care in nursing homes mirrors the shortages in informal care capabilities in both countries. The role of catholic organizations in providing eldercare is currently much more pronounced in Portugal where they are the main direct providers of care.

Intergenerational care-conflicts among Turkish immigrants in Germany

Christoph Frohn, Marc Breuer

Catholic University of Applied Sciences, Paderborn/Germany

Families are confronted with changing structures: In respect to the younger generations, it is less probable that they live nearby their parents. Women are increasingly involved in employment. Due to this, it gets more and more impossible to ensure traditional family care. Our paper focusses on intergenerational conflicts concerning care settings in German families with Turkish roots. In recent research, preferences of familial care among immigrants have attracted widespread attention. However, diverging interests and conflicts on this issue within the families had been scarcely discussed. Our thesis is that family conflicts arise not least as a result of generation-specific expectations on care.

This study is based on qualitative interviews conducted with adult children and spouses of dementia-sufferers. Using the methodology of Grounded Theory, a model is provided which points out specific principles of care. Among our interviewees both, children and parents, prefer care settings at home. Members of both groups refer to ethnic traditions. In contrast to the elderly, however, the younger generation’s interviewees emphasise stronger the growing importance of professional support. While the latter advocated for professional care, the elderly refused assistance. However, in the end members of the older generation had to accept the preferences of the younger ones because their personal resources to maintain familial care were exhausted. Overall, our contribution highlights how families with care needs become arenas of care-conflicts. Those conflicts have their roots in generation-specific care principles.

Intergenerational Longitudinal Research: Analyzing Relationships and Mentalities with Family Interviews

Andrea Hense1, Miriam Schad2

1Sociological Research Institute Goettingen (SOFI), Germany; 2Technical University Dortmund, Germany

Analyzing family relations and family practices across life courses of linked lives in changing societies requires new methodological approaches. Family interviews with members of three generations who are interviewed simultaneously are seen as an innovative method that supports longitudinal research as well as research on kinship networks. The talk is based on a project that analyzes intergenerational status stability in occupational fields of the middle class. Theoretically, we refer to the reproduction of social inequality, intergenerational occupational transmission and relationships within families. We study by which means and in what ways middle class families succeed in maintaining their social status across several generations. Thereby, we put a special focus on intergenerational relations: Under which conditions are which kind of mentalities, values, dispositions, and social positioning passed on or modified across generations in order to maintain the social status of the family? The family interview offers the opportunity to analyze communication and collective perceptions in families and directly relate them to individual perspectives and individual positions within the family. Thus it is possible to reconstruct subjective perceptions of families on consensual or conflicting mechanisms of status maintenance. Sampling and data analysis is based on the Grounded Theory Methodology. We use narrative interview techniques and genograms for data collection. The empirical analysis aims at developing a typology of cross-generational strategies of status maintenance. The talk will firstly focus on family interviews as a new method to analyze family networks and intergenerational dynamic and relationships. Secondly, we present first results.

Tensions and Taboos in Intergenerational Relationships seen through Advertising

Malene Gram1, Caroline Marchant2, Stephanie O'Donohoe2

1Aalborg University, Denmark; 2University of Edinburgh Business School, UK

Surprisingly little has been written on grandparents and their relationship with grandchildren, despite this relationship being recognized as very important in terms of well-being and family belonging. The challenges of grandparent-grandchild relations, in particular, remain unexplored in research. However, concerns about being ignored, taken for granted or even having feelings of anger, disappointment and frustration remain part of mundane family life.

This paper explores the mundane dark sides of family relations, which are at odds with sociocultural ideals of the happy family. The authors explore the ambivalence and tensions, which may create barriers for intergenerational warmth and togetherness. To get beyond grandparents’ and grandchildren’s own, often rose tinted, accounts of family, this paper draws on an analysis of sarcastic and humorous advertising that taps into difficult aspects of intergenerational relationships. Online commercials from Western countries featuring intergenerational tensions are analysed to explore family taboos and tensions.

The authors compare the identified tensions from ads with tensions identified in an interview study with grandparents and grandchildren in Denmark and New Zealand and discuss findings in relation to sociological literature on intergenerational relations, family, and consumption. This contributes to understanding of the often unspoken and more difficult aspects of intergenerational relationships, which are important to identify to help recognise issues and improve well-being and social cohesion among the elderly and the young.