Family Practices Across Generations and National Borders

Open access

Abstract

Part of the mobility and migration process, family relationships and mutual support are subject of various transformations. Spatial separation between family members creates a specific setting for analysis which leads to the necessity of understanding how family practices are arranged and developed across time and distance. The present study focuses on the dyad emigrated adult children and non-migrated elderly parents living in Romania and on the types of intergenerational family practices that occur between these dyads across national borders. Our analysis of family practices relies on tracing certain set of actions taken by family members in order to maintain, consolidate, and ultimately to display family solidarity. We consider here various forms of practices, namely technological mediated contacts, visits, time-consuming practical support and financial assistance. Analyses are based on the national survey entitled Intergenerational solidarity in the context of work migration abroad. The situation of elderly left at home, which provides empirical data about the relationships from a distance between elderly parents living in Romania and their migrant adult children. Descriptive statistics are provided in order to assess the flow directions, the frequency and the intensity of each type of intergenerational support. Our empirical evidence highlights that transnational support is asymmetrical and multidirectional. Results also support that intergenerational support and family relationships can no longer be theoretically approached in terms of a simple dichotomy.

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