Ties that Bind: Families across Time and Space
Families ‘bind’ people in several ways. They link older and younger generations and facilitate social control. In that view, at the macro level, families are seen to be part of the glue that holds society together. On a micro level, families impose high degrees of dependence on people’s lives. They create opportunities – by providing access to different kinds of resources, for example – but they also constrain daily activities through such obligations as caring for your next of kin. Most family scholarship focuses on two generations of family members: parents and young children. Departing from this practice, I enlarge the scope of my research to cover family relationships over entire life spans and to multigenerational connections. This allows me to deal better with an important reality that is too often ignored. Because we live longer and longer, more people with children remain children themselves, even grandchildren, to their parents and grandparents (Herlofson & Hagestad, 2011). The broader approach that I take bridges separate bodies of literature that have remained largely disconnected, and poses promising research questions that so far have been overlooked.
|Note||Uhlenbeck Lecture 31|
Dykstra, P.A. (2013, September 27). Ties that Bind: Families across Time and Space. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/50355