Published: April 2010
Author(s): Robin Mann, George Leeson

Journal of Intergenerational Relationships 8(3) pp 234-248

In recent years, research into grandparenthood has gained considerable momentum, particularly in the United States and increasingly in Europe. However, there has been little research focusing on understanding the contribution of grandfathers. While the perception of grandmothers as more involved than grandfathers remains commonplace, some recent research provides indications of a more changing picture. In attempting to address this knowledge gap, this paper provides evidence from ongoing qualitative research with grandfathers. It focuses on themes of emotionality and caring in men's understandings of being a grandfather. In so doing, it considers whether the salience of these themes points to the emergence of “new” grandfatherhood, particularly among younger cohorts of grandfathers. Finally, the paper explores these findings in relation to the wider policy context around grandparenthood, complementary care, and working families.

Keywords
Britain, Grandfatherhood, Grandparenting, Gender Roles