9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives

2009-09-04 09:00:00 2009-09-04 10:30:00 Friday, 4 September 09:00 - 10:30 Timescapes Building II, Audit├│rio B1.04

Here, now, and then: Grandparenting, time and social exclusion

The data drawn upon for this paper were gathered in a study titled "Intergenerational Exchange: Grandparents, Social Exclusion and Health", part of the ESRC funded Timescapes: Changing lives and times. Our study population are mid-life grandparents (35-50 years), drawn from low income estates in a city in the North of England, with differing responsibility for grandchildren ranging from mild and local intervention to legal custody and long-term residency. A key focus has been to interrogate what grandparents do for their grandchildren in order to shape their grandchildren's futures, and who and what services are required in order to do so. We observe that in providing for their grandchildren now, and working towards producing particular futures for them, grandparents are engaged in managing what we term "localised economies": economies within and across extended families; business economies; formal and informal health, social care and other statutory and third sector provision; and informal economies at play in the locality. This paper will consider theories of time in exploring grandparents┬┤ongoing management of these localised-economies. In particular, we will consider participants' accounts of timings within and across families, how time as resource flows through these and broader social and formal networks, and participants' understandings, expressions and meanings of 'times', with especial reference to how they consider they are (or not) producing 'futures' for their grandchildren. In doing so, we will consider how these analyses help us to extend and refine theories of social exclusion, developed through this and previous research in these localities.