OPAN seminar, SURF Room, Swansea University Monday 14th May 2012, 12-2pm

Intergenerational cultural transmissions within Italian transnational families in South Wales

Presented by Emanuela Bianchera, Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford

In recent years research has increasingly addressed the roles of grandparents as providers of care within ageing societies. At the same time, intergenerational communication processes have been shown within ethnic minority families. Drawing on ethnographic research and life history interviews with families of Italian descent in South Wales, this seminar focuses on intergenerational practices within Italian transnational families, paying particular attention to the role played by grandparents.

Italian migrant communities are typically considered to be characterized by strong kinship solidarity based on family and peer networks. The peculiar spatial concentration of Italian multigenerational families in parts of South Wales also offers us an insight into the dynamics of continuity, negotiation and transformation of cultural heritage.

Results from the research include:

  • the importance of grandparents as keepers of inheritance
  • anchors to Italian identity and maintaining links with the motherland.
  • gender differences amongst grandparents in what gets ‘passed on’ and how

This research is being funded by the Leverhulme Trust.