You have a duty to your family if they require assistance. This has been
drummed into us since forever, and it is a fact. Because if your family can't tell it
to you who the hell can they tell it to? I don't care if you hate your brother, if he
asks for help, that's what you'll give him. It's something that's bred into us, and
our parents made sure we understood that if anybody needs help in the family,
then you would help them. I've got a couple of sisters I'm not all that fond of, but
if they ask, that's it. If they weren't family, I would totally ignore them.
This research has been supported by grants from Health and Welfare Canada
(Welfare Research Program), The Social Sciences and Humanities Research
Council (general research and aging research), The Ontario Ministry of Health, and
the Programme in Gerontology of the University of Toronto.
We thank Vincente Espinoza, Kristina Makkay, and Susan Sim for their
assistance with this research. We thank Bonnie Erickson, Bernard Farber, Charles
Jones, Peter Laslett, John Mogey, Detelina Radoeva, Sebastien Reichman, and Peter
Willmott for their advice.
1. Intimate network members are those whom interviewed respondents "feel
are closest to you outside your home." Significant network members are those
nonintimates whom respondents "are in touch with in your daily life and who are
significant in your life." Intimate and significant network members jointly
comprise the respondents' sets of active network members.
See Wellman ( 1979) for the results of the survey; Wellman ( 1982) for a
description of the interview and study design. The numbers in this paper differ
slightly from those in previous East York papers due to further cleaning of variables
(cf., Wellman et al., 1987; Wellman,
Hall, 1988). As in our other
papers, we generally count "couple ties" as one relationship. See below for a
further discussion of such ties.
The questionnaire was a follow-up to the interviews designed to elicit more
systematic information about support. The fifteen items asked about whether each
network member gave or received a specific kind of support. (The three
companionship items were coded from the interviews.) For example, the first item
was "Gave help with small household jobs (such as minor repairs to house, car,
cottage; small amount of help with household)." For all items, the respondents
were asked whether the support has been given to or by them: "You to (Name)" or
"(Name) to You." Because we were interested in supportive community, we did
not put any time limit on the exchanges. By contrast, many studies relating social
support to health ask only about recently received support.
We have not used this dimension in this analysis because a small, specialized
number of work mates tend to provide information and contacts about job
The strongest correlation is 0.33 between Emotional Aid and Services (see Wellman and
Our supposition about the proportion of available kin in these networks
Laslett ( 1988) estimates for "20th century England." These show for
adults aged 30-65:
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Aiding and Aging:The Coming Crisis in Support for the Elderly by Kin and State.
Contributors: John Mogey - Author.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: New York.
Publication year: 1990.
Page number: 219.
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