The Special Mission of Grandparents: Hearing, Seeing, Telling

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By supporting and influencing their families and communities, grandparents—and those who act as grandparents—can play a key role in today's society. Their special mission is derived from a strong sense of purpose and direction that develops from making significant contributions to family life. These include compiling and recounting family histories, maintaining meaningful relationships among different generations, opening up family communications, explaining social changes, and participating in community life. With the aid of real-life examples of intergenerational family dynamics, the author—a clinical sociologist who has practiced family therapy for more than 25 years—presents principles, techniques, and perspectives for today's grandparents.

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Editorial Reviews

Hall (sociology, Georgetown U.) argues that grandparents have a special mission in today's society: it is they who must compile and recount family histories, maintain meaningful relationships among the different generations, facilitate family communications, and explain social changes. She uses contemporary examples of intergenerational family life from her experiences as a family therapist, to describe how grandparents can support and influence their families and communities. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897896726
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

C. MARGARET HALL is Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, where she has also served as Department Chair and Director of Women's Studies.

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Table of Contents

I Starting Points 1
1 Becoming a Grandparent 3
2 The Special Mission of Grandparents 15
3 Hearing 27
4 Seeing 39
5 Telling 51
II Being a Special Agent 63
6 Balanced Families 65
7 Traditional Families 77
8 Families in Conflict 89
9 Dysfunctional Families 101
10 Distant Families 113
11 Fragmented Families 125
12 Blended Families 137
III Accomplishing the Special Mission 149
13 From Generation to Generation 151
14 Leaving a Legacy 163
15 Giving Back to Society 175
Suggested Reading 187
Index 189
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