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Ageing and intergenerational relations

Ageing and intergenerational relations: Family reciprocity from a global perspective

Edited by Misa Izuhara
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  • Book Info
    Ageing and intergenerational relations
    Book Description:

    With socio-economic and demographic changes taking place in contemporary societies, new patterns of family relations are forming partly due to significant family changes, value shifts, precariousness in the labour market, and increasing mobility within and beyond national boundaries. This book explores the exchange of support between generations and examines variations in contemporary practices and rationales in different regions and societies. It draws on both theoretical perspectives and empirical analysis in relation to new patterns of family reciprocity. Contributors discuss both newly emerging patterns and more established ones which are now being affected due to various opportunities and pressures in contemporary societies. The book is split into two parts, the first (Chapters one to four) reviews key theoretical and conceptual debates in this field, while the second (Chapter five to nine) offers insights and an understanding of exchange practices based on case studies from different regions and different relationships.

    eISBN: 978-1-84742-206-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. List of tables and figures
    (pp. vi-vi)
  2. Foreword
    (pp. x-x)
    Judith Phillips

    Globalisation has resulted in, and has implications for, new and diverse patterns of family and intergenerational relations and support. The traditional patterns of reciprocity are increasingly being challenged by the changing dynamics of ageing and family life; across the world such patterns and processes require revision and reframing. These are the themes developed within this book.

    The international contributors, all well known in this field, provide a comparative insight to established concepts such as reciprocity and new themes such as intergenerational ambivalence. They address both theoretical frameworks for making sense of the new dynamics of ageing as well as providing...

  3. ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)
    Misa Izuhara

    At the turn of the millennium, relations between generations continue to evolve, shift or even be reinforced in order to cope with the increasing domestic and global pressures which individuals and families are now facing in a globalising world. Relationships between generations have never been static, but the dynamic nature of such social ties within families has always attracted ample research interests. In Western academic circles, the 1990s was a recent period in social gerontology when a substantial and influential body of work on intergenerational relations involving older people was produced, making a significant contribution to the knowledge and understanding...

  4. TWO Globalisation, global ageing and intergenerational change
    (pp. 13-28)
    Chris Phillipson

    Population ageing has been a major factor influencing changes in intergenerational relationships. Some of the key questions explored in research over the past two decades have concerned issues relating to generational equity, the emergence of new forms of multigenerational support, the characteristics of intergenerational solidarity and changing roles and relationships within families (Bengtson, 1993; Fokkema et al, 2008). This literature has raised important issues about changes affecting the lives of older people both within and without the sphere of family relationships. At the same time, demographic change must itself be nested in broader social and economic developments, with the processes...

  5. THREE Theoretical perspectives on intergenerational solidarity, conflict and ambivalence
    (pp. 29-56)
    Ruth Katz and Ariela Lowenstein

    The aim of this chapter is to highlight the development of the conceptual and theoretical bases on which the intergenerational solidarity–conflict and ambivalence paradigms were shaped. Further analysis of the two paradigms can provide insight for understanding the complex social phenomenon of intergenerational family relations in later life. In this chapter we will address and analyse the two models and discuss empirical evidence regarding their impact on quality of life, based on OASIS¹ (Old Age and Autonomy: The Role of Service Systems and Intergenerational Family Solidarity).

    Changes in the structure of society caused by global ageing (Kinsella, 2000), and...

  6. FOUR Globalised transmissions of housing wealth and return migration
    (pp. 57-76)
    Ricky Joseph

    There is increasing interest in intergenerational transmissions of housing wealth, inheritance planning and how these reflect shifting patterns of intergenerational relations (Finch and Mason, 2000; Rowlingson and McKay, 2005). The proliferation in this literature in the UK context reflects the fact that greater numbers of households have assets to pass on to other family members during the giver’s lifetime and in death, and that the values of these financial exchanges are much greater than for previous generations. A key source of this reciprocity is housing wealth. The UK housing market, since the postwar period, has experienced a number of key...

  7. FIVE Housing wealth and family reciprocity in East Asia
    (pp. 77-94)
    Misa Izuhara

    There has long been debate about whether East Asia has a welfare model distinct from Western or Anglo-Saxon welfare states (see for example Goodman et al, 1998; Walker and Wong, 2005; Takegawa and Lee, 2006). While welfare provision shapes societies in particular ways, it is also often shaped by existing power structures and cultural norms. The balance of state, family and market responsibilities differ in each society, however, and small states and the significant role played by families are often highlighted as the characteristics of the East Asian model. We can then ask whether the East Asian economic miracle was...

  8. SIX Grandparents and HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (pp. 95-110)
    Akpovire Oduaran and Choja Oduaran

    This chapter explores reciprocal dimensions of intergenerational relations and examines current exchange practices and rationales in the context of the severe environments found in Sub-Saharan Africa. In particular it examines the role of grandparents in family support practices, and the challenges presented to them by the rapid disappearance of the middle generation due to the epidemic of HIV and AIDS in the region.

    Confronted by the pandemic problem of HIV and AIDS, Africa is beginning to rediscover and apply things that have worked in the past in terms of building tacit intergenerational relationships in an era of globalisation. Grandparenting has...

  9. SEVEN Spiritual debts and gendered costs
    (pp. 111-128)
    Pascale F. Engelmajer and Misa Izuhara

    In recent decades, patterns of migration in Thailand have evolved, and have shown an increase in rural–urban female migration relatively to male migration (Arnold and Piampiti, 1984; Tangchonlatip et al, 2006), a trend that is also found in transnational migration (see for example APMRN, 1995). While the primary motivation for such an increase is certainly economic – women seek better opportunities in the capital or in tourist resorts – there are other explanations such as altruism (normative expression of gratitude) and part of the ‘generational contract’ (repayment or prepayment of migrants towards their household, especially in societies where formal...

  10. EIGHT Reciprocity in intergenerational relationships in stepfamilies
    (pp. 129-148)
    Lawrence H. Ganong and Marilyn Coleman

    The rising costs of healthcare and other social welfare programmes and the efforts of the federal, state and local governments to reduce services that are provided by governmental agencies have increased the importance of distinguishing personal and familial responsibilities from public (that is, governmental) obligations to dependent individuals. Societal debates about collective, familial and individual responsibility for dependent individuals are not new, but demographic and social changes have made the issue of who will assist dependent family members an increasingly important topic.

    Increased longevity and reduced fertility in the past few decades have profoundly affected the structure of families in...

  11. NINE New patterns of family reciprocity? Policy challenges in ageing societies
    (pp. 149-160)
    Misa Izuhara

    The chapters in this volume investigated various trends in relation to changing patterns and functions of intergenerational relationships. Returning to one of the key questions posed in the introduction to this volume – ‘whether new forms or patterns of family reciprocity are emerging’ – this concluding chapter first summarises what we have learned from the previous chapters. What evidence did we find regarding ‘new patterns’ of family reciprocity at the beginning of the 21st century? How ‘new’ are those patterns that we have recently been witnessing in comparison to conventional ones? To what extent and in which contexts are new...