Linn Alenius Wallin
Negotiations of step-grandparenting
Summary, in English
To become and to be a step-grandparent is complex and involves a lot of consideration. For some step-grandparents the birth of a step-grandchild can be a chance to finely be seen as a “real” grandparent by being there “from the start”. For others it commenced the negotiation between many peoples different needs and to strive to make space for themselves.
Gender, class, age and health are of importance for what role someone can take in step-relations. Relationship patterns, along with doings of care from other periods in life, provide different conditions: for those who have provided care their entire life (paid and unpaid) it can be demanding, for others the relationship can be seen as an opportunity. What if you experience your partner's grandchildren as more of a burden than a bonus?
This dissertation project is based on in-depth interviews with 13 step-grandchildren, age 5-19 and 12 step-grandparents aged 65-83. Theoretically, the dissertation is based on family as a doings (Morgan, 2011) and the theory of personal life (Smart, 2007).
The narratives of the different interviewees show a number of ways of making step-relationships, and expose gendered norms and ideals about care and interventions between generations. The stories shows opportunities and limitations, as well as pinpoint fragility and difficulties in both step- and bio-relationships.
Conference paper: abstract
- Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Myths and Realities of the Nordic Welfare State
2022-08-10 - 2022-08-12