2012 | 56 | 1 | 191-217
Article title

Opieka społeczna w migranckich sieciach rodzinnych polscy migranci w Islandii i ich starzy rodzice w Polsce

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In this article, the authors analyze interactions in transnational spaces between different national regimes of organization of social life, shaped to a large extent by social protection systems. They are interested on the one hand in institutionally regulated patterns of intergenerational relations in a specific society, and on the other hand, in individual (but culturally conditioned) social practices. The article distinguishes three models of familial regimes: default familialism, supported familialism and de-familialization. The authors’ research focus was the issue of care of the elderly and how it was organized by people who emigrated from Poland. The authors treated taking care of one’s elderly parents as an indicator of the “familialism by default” (a norm in the sending community). In Iceland this norm is juxtaposed to the reigning social norm of de-familialization. These kinds of regimes are dynamic and open to transformation, for instance, when societies face economic crises. In Poland, there exists a culturally determined necessity of the personal realization of children’ obligations to care for elderly parents (including personal care and practical household help). This obligation is a long-lasting element of the normative system, reinforced by the weakness of the institutional support system. In the context of emigration and of the resulting contact with a different care regime, the obligations (and the methods by which they can be realized) may be modified but do not disappear completely. What becomes necessary is a new type of social practices. The intergenerational transfers are not unilateral and they are not always are necessary — parents who stay at home help their children who emigrated and they balance the exchange. Naturally, not all parents remaining at home need support and care. In the article, the authors based their conclusions on quantitative and qualitative data collected during our own field research in Iceland in 2010 and gathered under the auspices of the research project SHARE.
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