Creating Good Relationships
Edited By Vince Waldron and Douglas Kelley
Moral Talk Across the Lifespan offers a stimulating blend of social science research and moral reflection. It is a key text for courses in Relational Communication, Family Communication, Interpersonal Communication, and Communication Ethics.
Chapter Three: Generativity in the Family: Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships and the Intergenerational Transmission of Values and Worldviews
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Generativity IN THE Family
Grandparent-Grandchild Relationships and the Intergenerational Transmission of Values and Worldviews
JORDAN SOLIZ & CHRISTINE E. RITTENOUR
“Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it” (www.mitchalbom.com). This introduction to Tuesdays with Morrie (Albom, 1997), a memoir chronicling life lessons communicated by an older man in his final days, encapsulates the popular notion that with aging comes wisdom and that life is best (and perhaps only) understood as you actually experience life. Similarly, a quotation attributed to actor William Holden states “Aging is an inevitable process. I surely wouldn’t want to grow younger. The older you become, the more you know; your bank account of knowledge is much richer.” Whereas quotations, books, and poems about a life well-lived commonly romanticize the morals and wisdom that comes with growing older, very little attention is afforded to interactions in which these life messages and wisdom are actually passed down across generations.
One of the reasons—if not, the most significant reason—for this lack of attention is that, unfortunately, we live in an age-segregated society (Hagestad & Uhlenberg, 2005) in which intergenerational contact between younger and older adults is fairly minimal compared to other...
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