fairplay south west logo
In a paper given at the Childhood 2005 conference in Oslo, Professor Hilary Land explored the role of Grandmothers as an essential resource for the social and economic health of their families. Whilst the data used may be from earlier times, they remain very relevant to today's crises in childcare and adult social care. Indeed, Grandmothers' role has only increased at the same time as they have become poorer due to the raising of the age at which they receive their pensions. As Professor Land says in her introduction: 

"This paper will first describe how invisible older women's care is. In the current policy debates about the pension 'crisis' taking place across the industrialised world, older men and women are portrayed as 'burdens' rather than contributors to the general welfare. Second, it discusses briefly the development in methods of measuring the extent and value of care. Third, it will illustrate the extent to which 'the dual earner family', which is becoming more common in various forms in most European countries as well as in North America and the later industrialising countries in Asia, is still dependent upon those traditional family systems in which women of all generations take responsibility for either the management or direct provision of care - or both. How is the care of mothers and grandmothers being reorganised or replaced? To answer this question it is necessary to look beyond the nuclear family as well as to childcare markets and formal systems of childcare provided by the state within various welfare regimes."

a paper

Grandmothers: an Undervalued Resource or a Burden on the Younger Generations?
Hilary Land
Professor of Family Policy, University of Bristol
Paper given at the Childhoods 2005, University of Oslo and Childwatch
International Research Conference, Oslo 29 June -3 July 2005
School for Policy Studies

University of Bristol



Join the conversation! Follow us on @FPSouthWest