Grandparenting in Korea and England: Reinventing Critical Perspectives on Active Ageing

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 16:15
Oral Presentation
Hyejin CHOI, Yonsei University, IWSR, Republic of Korea
Social investment is about fostering human and social capital which reminds us that social policy is an integral part of the economic and social functioning that brings returns to the society. The policy areas typically include early childhood education and care; education and higher education and, more recently, some studies comprise active ageing as part of the social investment strategies which focus on the enabling aspects of policy framework as a full member of society who is bearing productive return to the society. Although the active-ageing discourse addresses the ongoing participation of older adults in society, however, some criticised its sense of social utility and impulses towards independence. Critics argue that the active ageing notion is often described as a paradigm obsessed with work, appealing a simplistic vision of productivity rather than the well-being of the older adults. This paper examines the enabling and imposing aspect of active ageing by analysing grandparenting experiences in a comparative perspective through the cases of South Korea and England. Grandparenting has been regarded as a domain of active ageing, and many studies indicate that grandparenting experience is a rewarding part of grandparents’ lives and, at the same time, it can be perceived a burden in certain institutional context. In the respect, this paper analyses the similarities and differences in the grandparenting experience using comparable data set of ELSA and KLoSA and interprets the results by making linkage with their institutional contexts.