Parenthood involves two generations, one being older, one younger.
The younger party may be legitimate or illegitimate children, the older biological or not biological adults. The younger party may be dependent on the older party, their parents, like babies and children, or they may be independent grown-ups who are and still feel themselves children of their parents – and vice versa. Young parenthood designates the status of young women and men who are at the verge of making an irreversible step which is therefore more “dramatic” than other status passages (see also transition regimes).
Parenthood can (must) also be defined according to legal status. There it shows that the legal status has changed in resent decades and is today broader defined than earlier, for example parenthood granted to homosexual couples in some countries. However, parenthood is still the most sensitive issue in terms of doing gender; in connection with demographic changes (too few children), child care policy is high on national and European agendas (see also family and negotiation). ( MdBR)
du Bois-Reymond, M. & Poel, Y. te (2006) Work and Care in the Life-course of Young Adults in the Netherlands. In C. Leccardi & E. Ruspini (eds.): A New Youth? Young People, Generations and Familiy Life. Aldershot: Ashgate (164-186).
Brannen, J. & Moss, P. (eds.) (2003) Rethinking Children’s Care. Buckingham: Open University Press.
McKie,L. & Cunningham-Burley, S. (eds.) (2005) Families in Society. Boundaries and Relationships. Bristol: Policy Press.
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