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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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Can Chinese grandparents say no? A comparison of grandmothers in two Asian cities

Can Chinese grandparents say no? A comparison of grandmothers in two Asian cities

(p.233) Twelve Can Chinese grandparents say no? A comparison of grandmothers in two Asian cities
Grandparenting Practices around the World

Esther C.L. Goh

Sheng-li Wang

Policy Press

This chapter examines two dominant research constructs namely, ‘cultural obligation’ and ‘intergenerational reciprocity’ in caring for grandchildren in Chinese societies – Fuzhou and Singapore. Drawing on Social Relational Theory (SRT), it examines the agency of grandmothers through unpacking the rationales for their involvement or non-involvement in childcare, and the goals and meanings they ascribe to their decisions. Grandparents are viewed as agents: capable of setting goals, devising plans, strategies and taking actions to achieve their goals in the relational contexts with their adult children and grandchildren. The key research questions addressed in this chapter are : (1) to what extent do grandmothers in Fuzhou and Singapore are influenced in their decisions to provide childcare by similar yet diverse Confucian roots; (2) understanding the socio-cultural discourses of grandparenthood in Fuzhou and Singapore; and (3) whether such discourses will constrain or facilitate their sense of agency in decision making.

Keywords:   Cultural obligation, Intergenerational reciprocity, Agency of grandmothers, Grandchild care, Chinese societies, Socio-cultural discourses

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