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Constructing a social geography of grandparenthood: a new focus for intergenerationality

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In this paper I suggest ways in which a geographical approach to grandparent identities could successfully build upon social geography's understandings of relational geographies of age. In intergenerational geographies, the compartmentalised nature of age studies means that transitions in later stages of the lifecourse, particularly in family life, remain substantially under-researched. The paper draws together established geographical literatures of age, family and lifecourse, and evidence from qualitative interviews conducted over the past 12 months in the UK for ongoing research with grandfathers, to suggest ways in which the discipline might engage with and critique intergenerational geographies to move it forward. In particular there is a focus on spatialities of body space, embodiment and intimacy, activity spaces, and distance and locality.

Keywords: United Kingdom; grandparent identities; grandparenthood; intergenerationality; qualitative interviewing; relational geographies of age

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YD, Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2010


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