Civil Society and Eldercare in Posttraditional Society

Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


My maternal grandmother died when I was very young so I never knew her well. What I remember most clearly about her, though, is that whenever I saw her she was living in one of my aunts’ homes. For a while she lived with us. My grandfather built the house in which my grandmother gave birth to thirteen children, many of whom died in infancy, and in which she raised the survivors once she became a young widow. Without a husband she raised her children by herself with whatever income she could earn, primarily as a janitor at the local school. When the children had grown and left home and when grandmother became too frail to take care of herself, my parents, my sister and I moved into the old house with her. Four of my aunts lived nearby. Even though they grew up in poverty my mother and three of her sisters managed to attend university and become teachers. They were ahead of their time in terms of modern gender roles since they worked full-time while raising children and taking care of their own homes, but they were traditional in that they combined efforts to care for their mother, even as they continued to work and raise their own families. After several years of living with one or another of her daughters, my grandmother died in her own bed at the age of 87 in the house in which she had raised her children.


Civil Society Civil Society Organization Civil Society Activity Social Security Program Fiscal Austerity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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