Violence against Grandparents: Towards a Life Course Approach

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    It is curious that while the term ‘granny’ has often been used as a catchy
    synonym for ‘older people’ in research that investigates elder abuse,1
    very little research has ever actually explored the specific dynamic of
    violence against grandparents. To address this gap, this chapter explores
    the phenomenon of violence against grandparents and argues that
    a life course approach is necessary to enable a full understanding not
    only of this particular form of violence, but all forms of interpersonal
    violence. The chapter begins with an overview of existing research on
    the problem, before discussing how it is marginalised from both ‘elder
    abuse’ and ‘domestic abuse’ policy discourse. Introducing the life course approach, this chapter then explains why it is essential to conceptualise
    violence against grandparents within a critical developmental framework
    which takes account of intersecting dimensions of power. While
    highlighting the important role of gender and age, such an approach
    must also include an examination of other important dimensions such
    as ‘race’ and ethnicity, social class and culture as well as personal biography,
    generational position and historical change. This chapter then
    explores two specific contexts that are important in understanding the
    experience, management and response to violence against grandparents:
    (i) when the grandchild is 17 years or younger, and (ii) when the relationship
    involves kinship care. The chapter concludes by returning to
    the issue of gender and examines the extent to which violence against
    grandparents can be understood as a form of gender-based violence
    while keeping hold of the other important contextual elements that
    shape its experience and management.

    © 2019, The Author(s). The attached document (embargoed until 02/07/2021) is an author produced version of a chapter published in VIOLENCE AGAINST OLDER WOMEN VOLUME I uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self- archiving policy. The final published version (version of record) is available online at the link. Some minor differences between this version and the final published version may remain. We suggest you refer to the final published version should you wish to cite from it.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationViolence Against Older Women
    EditorsHannah Bows
    Place of PublicationLondon
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-16601-4
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-16600-7, 978-3-030-16603-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2019

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