Redefining Cultural Roles in Older Age: Grandmothering As an Extension of Motherhood

  • Satori Soden


Redefining what it means to be an older person in Western societies involves a consideration of the cultural roles we adopt at different stages of our lives. As Hareven (1995) and others have detailed, chronological life stages became increasingly distinct during the last century. Before then, there had been no clear divide between different stages of adulthood until it became necessary to differentiate between them because of various institutional factors, such as retirement age and so on. However, in postmodern societies there has been a reversal of this trend with less importance linked to the roles that are associated with any given (chronological) age stage (Featherstone and Hepworth, 1991). The blurring of previous distinctions allows for a transitional status to develop and these involve a less fixed set of characteristics than previously to be attached to particular cultural roles.


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© Satori Soden 2012

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  • Satori Soden

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