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- Author or Editor: Elena Moore x
The article highlights the heterogeneity of employed women’s experience of family care for older persons by focusing on multigenerational households. First, I argue that care for older persons must be understood in the context of multiple family responsibilities. Second, I show that care for older persons occurs in a context of inequalities that remain in post-colonial settings where there is highly uneven access to material resources, high levels of unemployment, poverty and limited social welfare provision. From this understanding of care, I argue that women’s position within wider care relations reveals elements of differentiation between women who occupy different class and racial positions.
Dominant macro social theories on changing personal relationships have tended to place little emphasis on the significance of difference across individuals. This article makes a contribution to this field, drawing on data from 19 qualitative interviews with a group of middle-class divorcing women in Ireland. This research has uncovered a cohort effect in women’s experience of marriage and divorce and points to a striking polarisation of women’s experience of marriage and divorce in Ireland. Findings from the Ireland-wide trends on changing family practices and the case studies demonstrate that younger women, who were better educated and higher income earners, perceived separation as a form of ‘liberation’. On the other hand, the older cohort of divorcees, who were less well educated and dependent spouses during the marriage, felt that they were actively abandoned and did not negotiate the ending of their marriage.
When a couple separate or divorce, they often turn to their parents for support, both for themselves and for their children. Yet, research examining the experience of relationship breakdown from the point of view of the parents of the separating couple is limited. Using qualitative data collected through in-depth interviews with 28 Irish grandparents, this article explores the impact of the process on grandparents and how they negotiated their role throughout and following the separation process. Participants who were more positive about the separation were those who adhered to the norms of obligation, non-interference and non-communication, yet who also managed to subtly interpret those norms in a way that allowed them to renegotiate their role within a changing family dynamic. These findings reveal the complexities of the role facing grandparents, but also highlight the potential for grandparents to play a key role in families affected by separation and divorce.