Intergenerational Relations in the Light of Migration and Ageing


CALL: 2012

DOMAIN: SC - Identities, Diversity and Interaction

FIRST NAME: Isabelle Astrid




HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: intergenerational relations, ageing, migration, family, solidarity, relationship regulation, parents, adult children

START: 2013-09-01

END: 2016-08-31


Submitted Abstract

An ageing population and migration constitute two key issues in Europe today. Family members of different generations share now more common life time than ever before. This clearly increases the importance of solidarity between generations given that old age is still associated with a high probability of physical and functional impairments, and older individuals will have to count on support and care from their families and/or make use of assistance offers from the public sector. These issues gain prime importance especially regarding immigrant families, since first generation immigrants are currently approaching retirement age in many European countries. Luxembourg society, in particular, will be confronted in the next years with new questions regarding the provision of age-specific services for older migrants. Although policy makers and practitioners are conscious of the increasing importance of this issue, research evidence regarding older migrants and their families is, however, still very scant. Migrant families face undoubtedly a special situation: Whereas the acculturation situation may result in an increased need for intergenerational support due to a smaller social network or fewer sociocultural resources in the host country, an acculturation gap between first and second generation might lead to different expectations regarding intergenerational solidarity, to intergenerational strain, and to diminished well-being of family members.The present study will focus on ageing migrants in the context of their intergenerational relations and compare them to members of their host nation. A cross-cultural comparison between Portuguese and Luxembourgish triads of older parents and adult children, both living in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is envisaged. In particular, the study will address the following three objectives. Firstly, we will examine identity constructions of older parents (first generation) and their adult children (second generation) from migrant families compared to parents and adult children with non-migrant background (e.g., their self-definitions, core values and norms, and future expectations). It is expected that identity constructions may converge or diverge between the generations and that this might affect the quality of intergenerational relations. Secondly and linked to this, we will investigate how intergenerational relations are regulated in migrant compared to non-migrant families. Here, we are particularly interested in the concepts of solidarity, conflict, and ambivalence. Additionally, we will also address perceived societal integration of ageing migrants, in particular regarding cultural contacts between aged host nationals and immigrants (e.g., during daily activities; leisure time). Finally, it will be examined which aspects influence subjective well-being (SWB) of older and younger individuals. In order to tackle these questions, both qualitative and quantitative methods will be applied.

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