10.3 Women between caring for the elderly and for the youngsters

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 9:30 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Alda MOTTA , Sociology, Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil


 The great transformations found today in the structure of families, expressed even in new domestic arrangements, are due, in great part, to important changes at work in the sphere of gender relations – but not only directly from them.  Further up past the productive structure, the process of increasing longevity, which is implicating new patterns of relations between generations, has contributed to the extension or amplification of the scope and duration of these relations, reconfiguring them around the simultaneous co-existence of three, four or even more generations, living, not rarely, in one single household or in those spatially near by. This means, among other new possibilities, the presence of the aged and even of those very old, supervised or cared for people of a mature generation, referred in its present definition as intermediary or pivot, being the same one that also supports or cares for the youngsters in the family, due to unemployment or their very young age. The ‘mature’ are generally women who experience minor rebellions, clear or masked conflicts and ambiguous renouncing. These are difficult relations to negotiate given that, for these women, they constitute, at the same time, a reinforcement of traditional gender roles, such as that of caretakers, but also of generational roles in the founding social contract, now duplicated.