Sharing Lives : Adult Children and Parents book cover
1st Edition

Sharing Lives
Adult Children and Parents

ISBN 9781138125711
Published February 26, 2016 by Routledge
220 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations

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USD $160.00

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Book Description

Sharing Lives explores the most important human relationships which last for the longest period of our lives: those between adult children and their parents. Offering a new reference point for studies on the sociology of family, the book focuses on the reasons and results of lifelong intergenerational solidarity by looking at individuals, families and societies.

This monograph combines theoretical reasoning with empirical research, based on the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The book focuses on the following areas:

● Adult family generations, from young adulthood to the end of life, and beyond

● Contact, conflict, coresidence, money, time, inheritance

● Consequences of lifelong solidarity

● Family generations and the relationship of family and the welfare state

● Connections between family cohesion and social inequality.

Sharing Lives offers reliable findings on the basis of state-of-the-art methods and the best available data, and presents these findings in an accessible manner. This book will appeal to researchers, policymakers and graduate students in the areas of sociology, political science, psychology and economics.

The Open Access version of this book, available at, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Concepts and contexts

3. Crisis? What crisis?

4. Contact: Staying in touch

5. Conflict: Quarrels and fights?

6. Space: Living together

7. Money: Financial support

8. Time: Who helps, who cares?

9. Inheritance: To him that hath

10. Conclusions

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Marc Szydlik is Professor of Sociology at the University of Zurich. He previously worked at the German Institute for Economic Research, the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, the Free University of Berlin and the University of Erfurt. He was a visiting scholar at Harvard, Columbia, Oxford, Stanford and Cambridge Universities, and has published widely in the field of generations.


"[...] the book offers a thorough empirical analysis of the best available evidence on intergenerational relations and ties in Europe, and is therefore an important reference source for social gerontologists, sociologists of the family, demographers and students of social policy and welfare systems."

- Larissa Remennick, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

"Sharing Lives is a theoretically driven, empirical examination of parent and adult child relationships across Europe. [...] In connecting the micro- and macro-level structures that influence multiple facets of parent–adult child relationships, Szydlik provides a comprehensive assessment of these relationships in their family and social contexts, which is where this book most enriches the extant literature on intergenerational relations."

- Jori Sechrist, McMurry University

"[...] Ce livre a le mérite de rendre compte d’un grand nombre de recherches, de théorisations et de données empiriques sur les solidarités intergénérationnelles. Il montre bien les convergences et divergences entre les pays européens et constitue un outil de choix pour les étudiants et les chercheurs de la famille qui s’intéressent au champ des solidarités."

- Claudine Attias-Donfut, Directrice de recherches honoraire à la Cnav (Caisse nationale d'assurance vieillesse)