Grandfathering: the construction of new identities and masculinities

Anna Tarrant

in Contemporary grandparenting

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9781847429681
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307624 | DOI:
Grandfathering: the construction of new identities and masculinities

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This chapter explores contemporary experiences of grandfathering in Britain and includes the stories of men whose families have been affected and restructured by divorce, either their own, or the breakdown of their children's relationships. Analysis of 31 semi-structured interviews reveals that men are involved in their grandchildren's lives and this is achieved through various gendered practices. In particular the form and functioning of grandfathering is regulated by the quality and character of intergenerational relationships, which influences how men perform and construct their identities in a variety of ways. A ‘new’ identities approach helps to make sense of how the contemporary context shapes the familial and intergenerational relationships of men in middle- and old-age, and gives rise to multiple grandfathering roles and experiences. The chapter therefore focuses on grandfathering, identity construction and masculinities, and the contradictions that some men face in resolving these.

Keywords: Grandfathering; Identity; Masculinity; Intergenerationality; Gender; Divorce

Chapter.  7892 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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