A Story of Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren in an Ethnography: Constituting a Family beyond the Multiple Boundaries

조모의 손자녀 양육에 관한 문화기술지: 다중의 경계 밖에 가족 만들기

  • Received : 2008.11.05
  • Accepted : 2009.01.29
  • Published : 2009.02.28


Due to the change of socio-cultural conditions, family dissolving is increasing. As an alternative, grandparents who parent their grandchildren are also increasing rapidly and many show deep concern at this phenomenon. The grandparents-grandchildren families were approached through policy-makers' and professionals' perspective, not through insiders' view. The purpose of this ethnographic study were to explore the experiences and meaning-makings of grandmothers who are raising grandchildren. 22 narrative interviews with 10 grandmothers were conducted. The results of data analysis are as follows. The cultural theme in rasing experiences of grandmothers is 'Constituting a family beyond the multiple boundaries'. This theme include four cultural meanings: 'Recunstuction of everyday life beyound boundaries', 'Boundary of relative poverty more rigid than boundary of absolute poverty', 'Compromising constantly with normal culture having both inclusion and exclusion' boundaries', 'Having aspiration toward crossing the boundaries'. The policiy-makers and practitioners for the grandparents-grandchildren families should recognize the experiences and meaning-making of these families and should perform culturally perceptible and family-centered policies and practices.


grandparents-grandchildren families;the experience of raising;ethnography