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Explaining the frequency of contact between generations in Germany

[working paper]

Steinbach, Anja; Kopp, Johannes

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Corporate Editor pairfam - Das Beziehungs- und Familienpanel
Abstract A consideration of recent demographic trends, the historically unique longevity, and the political discussion about social security and care for the elderly makes it apparent that the topic of intergenerational relationships is getting more and more important – not only for politics, but also for social research in the field of family sociology and gerontology. A closer look at the huge quantity of studies in this field reveals a number of limitations for Germany. Firstly, only some aspects of intergenerational relationships are captured in the present empirical data. Secondly, most studies focus on the relations between adult children and their older parents. Information about intergenerational relationships founded on a broader empirical basis is missing. And, as a third point, the theoretical debate reveals some significant conceptual shortcomings. To narrow these gaps, this paper first discusses the theoretical and empirical results of the current debate about intergenerational relations. In a second step our own empirical data are presented: these capture many different aspects of the relations between generations. Finally, suggestions will be made for ways to close the theoretical gap.
Keywords Intergenerational relations; family; parent-child relationship; elderly; demographic aging; solidarity; social relations; sociology of the family; gerontology; empirical social research; research deficit; Federal Republic of Germany
Classification Family Sociology, Sociology of Sexual Behavior; Gerontology
Method empirical; qualitative empirical; quantitative empirical; basic research; development of methods; theory application; theory formation
Document language English
Publication Year 2007
Page/Pages 24 p.
Series Arbeitspapier des Beziehungs- und Familienpanels (pairfam), 8
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike