Adult children and their parents: couplehood and parenthood in times of change, international perspective & family recompositions
Organizacja: Magdalena Żadkowska (UG), Marta Skowrońska (UAM), Christoph Giraud (Universite de Paris)
IV 16.09, 16:00-17:30
Miejsce: WYDZIAŁ LINGWISTYKI UW, Sala 01.073
Słowa kluczowe: parenting of young adults, post-parental stage, practices in “empty nest”, recompositing of family, sociology of couple
Compared to other stages of the family life cycle, the period of the “empty nest” has been less analysed by sociologists (DeVries 2004). However, it seems that the empty nest deserves comprehensive research. The departure of adult children is a process that mirrors the contemporary transformation in family structure and relations as well as broader social and economic changes (Settersten, Gannon, 2005; Arnett, 2000). The empty nest stage has significantly lengthened, so the time the couple spends without children has increased. The moment when young adults start their own family is prolonged (Benson, Furstenberg 2006; Van de Velde 2008, Settersten 2011; Bouchard 2013; Giraud 2020) . The reasons children leave are not necessarily related to their family prospects but rather their individual aims and needs. On the other hand, the difficult housing/financial situation forces many young people to stay with their parents longer than expected or to return to the family home (Du Bois-Reymond, López Blasco 2003; Heinz 2009; Hörschelmann 2011; Borlagdan 2015; Maunaye 2019; Abetz & Romo, 2021). The recent epidemic of COVID-19 has impacted the process of emptying the nest, as it intensified the boomeranging phenomenon.
The empty nest stage also demonstrates the change in the shape of intimate relations, the practices, norms and values that accompany them, and the increasing significance of the self. It is the biographical phase in which both the parents and the children need to reconfigure their relations (parent-parent, parent/s-children), which may sometimes lead to a severe crisis or, on the contrary, to a more satisfactory relationship (Winogrodzka, Sarnowska J., 2019; Gaviria 2020).
We particularly invite empirical papers on the subjects such as:
- Contemporary changes regarding the family life cycle
- New visions/practices of love and intimacy of couples in the postparental stage
- Existing and new models of parenting
- Life projects in the empty nest stage
- Social differences and inequalities reflected in different motivations, trajectories and outcomes of the transition to empty nest
- Factors that impact the pace and outcomes of children departure
- Financial arrangements and obligations in intergenerational relation
- Reconfiguration strategies in new family arrangements
- The influence of COVID 19 on parents – young adults relations, intimacy and proximity.
współautorzy: Paula Pustułka
Although researchers were quick to point out the changing face of family relationships during the COVID-19 crisis (e.g. Settersen et al. 2020; Stokes & Patterson 2020), little is known about specific evolution of family practices in the intergenerational relationships of adult children and their parents in Poland.
The paper relies on the cumulative dataset combining interviews conducted during the coronavirus crisis across three Qualitative Longitudinal Studies, namely the ULTRAGEN project on transitions to adulthood (n=70, young adults and their parents), the GEMTRA project on intergenerational relationships in transitions to motherhood (n=42, new mothers and their mothers/mothers-in-law), and the CORONA-SOLIDARITY project on perceptions and experiences of solidarity (n=25; inhabitants of big cities). Thematic analysis was performed for interview transcripts concerning 137 participants, with an explicit focus on family practices and how they were understood in the context of bonds between adult children and their parents.
We use Morgan’s (2011: 84) distinction of concentrated (strongly bounded) and diffused (weakly bounded) family practices to illustrate temporal and spatial changes in how adult children and their parents tackle the pandemic in their family relationships. In essence, we investigate the evolving need to, on the one hand, tightly coordinate family togetherness, and, on the other hand, the diffusion of practices under the circumstances marked by the crisis. Focusing on the modes of spending time together (leisure family practices) and family practices during special events like holidays, we discern the main changes that family members had to introduce to their intergenerational bonds as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The article contributes new knowledge on family practices and quality of family relationships of adult children and their parents.
How does wealth flow from parents to their adult children? Why do parents give – and their adult children accept – apartments, cars, or cash? What moral intentions and norms activate this flow, justify it, and give it direction? What life situations mobilize transfers, and which cases do not deserve financial support from parents? What does it mean today to provide adult children with a proper ‘start’ in life? In this presentation, I analyze social practices and cultural discourses around transfers of wealth transfers from living parents to their adult children. Based on family interviews conducted in 24 households of parents and their adult children (25-38 years old), the presentation explores various forms and dynamics of transfers of wealth received by early adults from their parents and shows the importance of cultural and moral frames in shaping economic actions in an intergenerational, familial context. Intergenerational financial transfers reflect the mutual entanglement of the wealth and family relationships and mobilize taking into consideration parents’ obligations to their children, the principles of justice, transfer conditions, and the right to control. At the same time, financial flows allow families to make attempts of achieving social mobility in a multi-generational plan, by using funds to situate next generations higher in social stratification. While both parents and their adult children express a strong acceptance for downward transfers and take them for granted, receiving a transfer creates an obligation to reciprocate not upward to the donors but down to the next generation of recipients. The key value that guides these transfers is the pursuit of improving living conditions for future generations.
współautorzy: Magdalena Herzberg-Kurasz, Magdalena Żadkowska
The phenomenon of adult children returning to their family homes, known as boomeranging, is increasing (Bouchard, 2013; Cherlin et al. 1997; White 1994; Clemens and Axelson 1985). Oftentimes, modern parents seem to be sympathetic to the return of their independent adult children. In other cases, the return of adult children reflects the condition of the labor market and the availability and prices of housing.
It is not common in the French model to go back to the parents. The economic and health crisis of the last few years and the increase of the phenomenon in France have as a consequence that parents accept the return even if it means new changes for them. At the time of departure, new habits are established and parents develop their personal identity more and with the return of their child they have to take up old roles again (Gaviria, 2020). In Poland the “boomeranging” phenomena is not well described yet. As Pustulka et al. stress, parents nowadays are offering their households as ‘feathered nests’ during extended transitions to adulthood.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many families. The restrictions which were introduced on movement along with the subsequent closing of borders stopped traffic throughout existing communication routes -young adults who had (recently) been living on their own – working, studying, creating intimate relationships returned and started living at family home again. The returns, and the motivations behind those caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, , are of a different nature than those described so far
The purpose of this chapter is to analyze the return of young people to their parents in Poland and France during the pandemic. This phenomenon has the particularity of having taken place at the same time in different countries and being motivated by simmilar factors : : economic, health, safety and relational. The aim is to examine the convergences of the return phenomenon in the two countries and describe relations in the time of sudden recohabitation and the narratives about different strategies to survive in the reconstructed « full nest ».
It is often assumed that women find it more difficult to process the moment when their adult children leave family home. It is mainly due to the social role of women, in which they are seen as full-time parents and caregivers. Women are credited with constructing their identity based on their role as a mother. In the traditional discourse a woman moves smoothly from the role of a Polish mother to the role of a “Polish grandmother” (Badinter 1998; Budrowska 2000; Titkow 1995, 2007, 2012; Titkow et al., 2004; O’Reilly 2010; Imbierowicz 2012; Kaźmierczak-Kałużna 2016; Packalén Parkman 2017; Włodarczyk 2017). We have, on the one hand, a scenario of caring roles (together with the image of the “Polish mother”) and, on the other hand, a cultural disenchantment of these roles by revealing the extent to which they pressure and affect women’s biographies. This translates both into the experience of women’s entry to motherhood and maternal roles, but also, into the intensification of identity ambivalence accompanying ‘leaving’ the role of mother behind (Gajewska et al. 2022)
In the presentation Authors will focus on what happens in the lives of women whose role as mothers is transformed. I will look at the identification experiences (how they define themselves, how they perceive themselves, how they talk about themselves, how they experience themselves) of mothers faced with the change brought about by an external factor, which is the departure of an adult child/children from home.
Emergence from the role of mother appears as a process reversed to the point at which a woman becomes a mother. In my presentation I approach both stages equally as ones that bring about a huge change in every woman’s life. However, what is essential, in contrast to existing rituals connected with motherhood and passing through its consecutive stages, the stage of emptying the nest is not connected with any culturally recognized rituals (Spence, Lonner 1971; Cassidy 1985; Gullette 1995, 2002; Russo & Green 2002; LaCoste Nelson, 2006; Rubenstein 2007; Sheriff; Wojciechowska 2008; Weatherall 2009; De Singly 2011, Thorn 2012).The leaving of children from home in Poland is not accompanied by any special ceremonies or customs.