Dimensions of Intergenerational Solidarity in Romanian Transnational Families

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 16:00
Oral Presentation
Mihaela HARAGUS, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania
Paul-Teodor HARAGUS, Babes-Bolyai University, Romania
Combining a national survey on 1500 elder Romanian parents (60 plus) with migrant children with semi-structured interviews with some of these parents, we investigate how intergenerational solidarity is remodelled in the context of transnational families. In our endeavour we combine the solidarity paradigm, which guided most of the research of the dyad parent–adult child, with a care circulation approach, specific to transnational family literature. We investigate different forms of intergenerational solidarity – associational (common activities), affectual (emotional closeness) and functional solidarity (exchange of support) – and factors that may limit or enhance intergenerational solidarity: needs and opportunities of parents and adult children, their family structure and the contextual-structural factors. Our investigation addresses at the same time the ways in which support is provided in transnational families: through direct provision with co-presence, direct provision at a distance, coordination, and delegation.

Our results show that intergenerational relations remain multidimensional and certain dimensions continue to be fulfilled through direct provision only, such as associational and affectual solidarity. Functional solidarity can additionally circulate across the family network, and associational solidarity becomes particularly important through its potential for other forms of intergenerational solidarity. Older parents and those with poor health are more likely to receive help and care, both in situations of co-presence, during migrant children’s visits home, and from a distance. They are also less likely to travel themselves abroad and to help their migrant children in the destination countries, especially with childcare. The inexistence of other adult children in home country increases the exchange of practical intergenerational support, mothers are more likely to offer practical support in destination countries, while fathers are more likely to help from a distance. Coordination and delegation of help and care appears in connection with the parents’ health, and involves mainly other family members.