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Grandparenting as the resolution of kinship as experience

Miller, Daniel; Garvey, Pauline; (2022) Grandparenting as the resolution of kinship as experience. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 10.1111/1467-9655.13779. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This article argues that a population of relatively affluent retired people in a small Irish town have employed the possibilities of grandparenting to resolve many of the tensions of contemporary kinship. This includes the tension between the obligations of prescriptive relationships as against the voluntarism of friendship. This is considered against a background shift in kinship studies towards a distinction between kinship as a category and kinship as experience. Kinship as experience often now comprises a series of deep fluctuations during the life course. Experience is also extended by the growth in life expectancy. This makes it still more important that the legacy of an individual's prior experiences of kinship may be partially resolved through the experience of grandparenting. The profound consequences of grandparenting lie not in the relationship to the grandchildren but in the possibilities that grandparenting offers to recalibrate all other kinship relations. These include the relationship with one's own children, the relationship with partners, the legacy of one's prior experience of being a parent, and even the memory of the way one was parented when a child.

Type: Article
Title: Grandparenting as the resolution of kinship as experience
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1467-9655.13779
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9655.13779
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Royal Anthropological Institute. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Anthropology
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10152488
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