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Grandparenting Practices around the World$
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Virpi Timonen

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447340645

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447340645.001.0001

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Class-based grandfathering practices in Finland

Class-based grandfathering practices in Finland

(p.171) Nine Class-based grandfathering practices in Finland
Grandparenting Practices around the World

Hanna Ojala

Ilkka Pietilä

Policy Press

This chapter focuses on class-based features of grandfathering in the context of a Nordic welfare state. Based on interviews with 17 middle- and working-class Finnish grandfathers, the chapter shows that while men’s grandparenting practices are not limited to auxiliary roles to assist grandmothers, grandchildren’s age has an effect on how grandfathers spend time with their grandchildren. School-aged children received most attention, and working-class grandfathers tended to provide their grandchildren with practical skills, whereas middle-class were focused more on increasing their grandchildren’s social capital. Working-class grandfathering practices emphasised creating continuity between men’s generations and transferring masculine knowledge. In the middle-class, active grandfather role was explained by the pressures of working life among the middle generation. Day care services, provided by the welfare state, are not flexible enough to meet the needs of middle-class families whose work demands are set by global enterprises, and who thus need support from grandparents.

Keywords:   Grandfather, Men’s grandparenting practices, Masculinity, Middle-class, Working-class, Nordic welfare state

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