Ageing and Intergenerational Relations: Family Reciprocity from a Global Perspective

By Parker, Marcie | Journal of Comparative Family Studies, March 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Ageing and Intergenerational Relations: Family Reciprocity from a Global Perspective


Parker, Marcie, Journal of Comparative Family Studies


Misa Izuhara, (Ed ). AGEING AND INTERGENERATIONAL RELATIONS: FAMILY RECIPROCITY FROM A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. The Policy Press, Bristol, UK or The Policy Press, Portland, (2010), ISBN 978 1 84742 204 0 paperback $39.95 or ISBN 978 1 84742 205 7 hard cover $85.00; 165 pages Part of The Ageing and The Lifecourse Series edited by Judith Phillips, University of Swansea; see The Policy Press Publishing site at www.policypress.co.uk

The goal of this well-written, well-edited and compelling book is to examine global changes to intergenerational relations with all of the socioeconomic and demographic changes that are occurring. New patterns of family relations are emerging, due in part to significant changes to families and newly developing family forms, value shifts, job and labor insecurity, decreasing rates of fertility, and increasing mobility within and beyond traditional national boundaries. Economic restructuring, demographic changes, shifting social norms, much greater diversity in family and household structures...all have led to new attitudes and new functions and relations between generations.

Part 1, an interdisciplinary approach to the study of intergenerational relations, reviews key theoretical and conceptual debates in the field (e.g., definitions of intergenerational and intragenerational, the impact of globalization, the emergence of intergenerational ambivalence). This part locates the analysis of family relations within the context of the wider national and global political economy and public policies (such as state and national policies specifying which family members must provide care for the elderly and what form that care will take... e.g., consider the filial responsibility laws that now exist in 30 of the 50 states of the United States). Part 2, the case study chapters, looks at different areas of the world and different family relationships, the latest research on globalization, global ageing and intergenerational change; theoretical perspectives on intergenerational solidarity, conflict, ambivalence and quality of life; globalised transmissions of housing wealth and return migration; housing wealth and family reciprocity in East Asia; grandparents as parents of children whose parents have died ofHIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa (in other words, looking at the impact of the virtual disappearance of the middle generation due to the epidemic of HIV and AIDS in the region); spiritual debts and gendered costs (filial obligations in Thai society); reciprocity in intergenerational relationships in stepfamilies; and a final chapter on new patterns of family reciprocity and public policy challenges in ageing societies. …

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