1st Edition

Grandparents in Cultural Context

Edited By David W. Shwalb, Ziarat Hossain Copyright 2018
    352 Pages
    by Routledge

    352 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Grandparents in Cultural Context gives a long overdue global view of the changing roles of grandparents. The eleven main chapters are by experts in the Americas, Europe and Russia, Asia, and Africa and the Middle East, and the editors integrate their chapters with previous writings on grandparenthood. Rather than technical or statistical research reports, each chapter provides a thought-provoking and comprehensive review of research, real-life case stories, cultural influences, and applied implications for grandparenthood across and within societies.

    Calling special attention to the roles of grandfathers and grandparenthood in societies previously un-represented in the literature, it provides several hundred new citations of work previously unavailable in English-language publications. Accessible to both scholars and students, it has several pedagogical features (e.g. web links, discussion questions) that make it useful as a text for upper-division undergraduate or graduate level classes in behavioral, social, and family sciences. It is relevant to psychology, gerontology, family studies, anthropology, family/comparative sociology, education, social work, gender studies, ethnic studies, psychiatry, and diversity and international studies programs. Practitioners, service providers, policymakers, and internationally minded grandparents will also enjoy this book.

    Foreword Maximiliane Szinovacz. 

    Preface David W. Shwalb and Ziarat Hossain. 

    Part 1: Introduction 

    1. Introduction David W. Shwalb and Ziarat Hossain 

    Part Two: The Americas 

    2. Grandparenting in Mexico and Central America: “Time and Attention” Judith L. Gibbons and Regina Fanjul de Marsicovetere 

    3. Grandparenting in the United States: Cultural and Sub-Cultural Diversity Bert Hayslip Jr. and Christine A. Fruhauf 

    4. Grandparents in Brazil: The Contexts of Care and Economic Support for Grandchildren Cristina Dias, Rosa Azambuja, Elaine Rabinovich, and Ana Cecília Bastos 

    Part Three: Europe and Russia 

    5. Grandparenthood in Germany: Intimacy at a Distance or Emeritus Parents? Katharina Mahne, Daniela Klaus and Heribert Engstler 

    6. Changing Roles of Grandparents in the United Kingdom: Emergence of the ‘New’ Grandfather Ann Buchanan 

    7. Grandmothers in Russia’s Matrifocal Families: Shoring Up Family Life Jennifer Utrata 

    Part Four: Asia 

    8. Grandparents in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan: A Way Forward with Traditions and Changes in South Asia Nandita Babu, Ziarat Hossain, Jessica E. Morales, and Shivani Vij 

    9. Grandparents in Japan, Korea and China: From Filial Piety to Grandparenthood Jun Nakazawa, Jung-Hwan Hyun, Pei-Chun Ko, and David W. Shwalb 

    Part Five: Africa and the Middle East 

    10. Grandparents in the Middle East and North Africa: Changes in Identity and Trajectory Mahmoud Emam, Yasser Abdelazim, and Mogeda El-Keshky 

    11. Carer Grandparents of Sub-Saharan Africa: “Foster to be Fostered” Magen Mhaka-Mutepfa, Elias Mpofu, Ami Moore, and Stan Ingman 

    12. Grandparenting in Southern Africa: What the Elders See While Sitting the Young Ones Standing on Their Toes Won’t See Monde Makiwane, Ntombizonke A. Gumede, Mzolisi Makiwane 

    Part Six: Conclusions 

    13. Chapter Themes, Highlights, and Recommendations David W. Shwalb and Ziarat Hossain  


    DAVID W. SHWALB (Ph.D., University of Michigan, Developmental Psychology) is Professor of Psychology at Southern Utah University. Co-editor of six previous books including Fathers in Cultural Context (2013, Routledge), he is a former Society for Cross-Cultural Research president and  Fulbright awardee.

    ZIARAT HOSSAIN (Ph.D., Syracuse University, Child and Family Studies) is a Professor of Family and Child Studies and Regents’ Lecturer at the University of New Mexico. He is a former Society for Cross-Cultural Research president and Fulbright Scholar.

    ‘A volume addressing grandparenthood in many different societies and cultures was long overdue. This book offers not only insights into the diversity of grandparent experiences across various cultures and societies, but also demonstrates biases in current (mainly Western) research, which includes the lack of attention to grandfathers or lack of differentiation between maternal and paternal grandparents. Another important aspect of this volume is the coverage of pertinent old age and family policies.’ - Maximiliane Szinovacz, University of Massachusetts – Boston, USA

    ‘A must-read for anyone interested in the diverse ways grandparents serve and are served by their families across a variety of regions around the world, some of which have been little studied despite their theoretical and practical importance. Grandparents in Cultural Context provides as rich and comprehensive a review of grandparents, grandparenting, and grandparenthood as you will find in the family literature. The material presented is conceptually ambitious, theoretically grounded, and deeply evocative of grandparents’ everyday experiences.’ - Merril D. Silverstein, Syracuse University, USA

    ‘This landmark book on grandparenting is both fascinating to read and at the cutting edge of social science research. The editors have encouraged an organized structure to each chapter which helps the reader immensely. Given the predominance of Western studies, this truly cross-cultural perspective makes a vital, refreshing and innovative contribution on a topic of increasing importance.’ - Peter K. Smith, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

    ‘This volume provides a splendidly accessible, comparative overview of an array of evidence on grandparents and grandparenthood. It offers an invaluable springboard for future scholars working on this important and complex subject. This readable work, which includes proverbs, graphic vignettes, descriptive analyses, national statistics, and wide ranging reviews of available evidence of many kinds, provides another valuable step in the direction of raising our awareness, combatting our knowledge gaps, and promoting new and much needed enquiries.’ - Christine Oppong, University of Ghana, and Wolfson College, Cambridge, UK

    The editors write in their introduction that "research on grandparents in diverse cultures, at different stages of development, is essential both for theory construction and to inform social policy." While sociological research on grandparents in developed and Western countries is substantive, there are fewer studies about grandparenthood in areas such as Africa. The contributors to Grandparents in Cultural Context share their scholarship from the Americas, Europe and Russia, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The text focuses more on qualitative research than quantitative data, incorporating case studies and cultural analysis. The resulting text combines aspects from psychology, sociology, anthropology, education, gerontology, and social work. The research is significant; because the studies are not limited to grandparenthood in the US, they can inform the development of theory and social policy in a broader context. Beyond grandfathers and grandmothers, studies also touch on great-grandparents. Extensive references conclude each chapter; numerous photographs, charts, maps, and tables enhance the content. Separate author and subject indexes round out the scholarly apparatus.

    --D. L. Norland, Luther College

    Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, researchers, and professionals.