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Family rhythmsThe changing textures of family life in Ireland$
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Jane Gray, Ruth Geraghty, and David Ralph

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719091513

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719091513.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Working and parenting in the middle years

Working and parenting in the middle years

(p.127) 5 Working and parenting in the middle years
Family rhythms

Jane Gray

Ruth Geraghty

David Ralph

Manchester University Press

This chapter discusses changes in the ‘middle years’ when people expend most energy caring for those who are younger or older, while also working and contributing taxes that enable the state to subsidize, to a greater or lesser extent, the work of caring, placing the Irish experience in comparative context. Narratives from the Life Histories and Social Change collection are combined with contemporary parent interviews from the Growing Up in Ireland study to trace the changing character of adult partner relationships from undemonstrative affection, to an emphasis on companionship, followed by a shared commitment to active parenting as women increasingly remain in paid employment following the birth of children. Decisions about marriage, work and childcare across the generations are explored with reference to complex gendered moral rationalities. There is a discussion of the changing ways in which couples and parents are embedded in wider kinship networks and community life. The chapter also examines how the continuing tension between the private spaces of families and the public spaces of community and social life creates gaps in which some of the darker aspects of family life are concealed, with a particular focus on intimate partner violence.

Keywords:   Active parenting, Childcare, Community life, Gendered moral rationalities, Household division of labour, Intimate partner violence

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