Social work

experience and methods

Reconstructed help narratives of grandparents who care for children in temporary migration processes


The article deals with one of the aspects of temporary migration, i.e. the unrecognised and unacknowledged help of grandparents to grandchildren whose parents have left to work abroad. The dominant narrative that children who stay with their grandparents have negative emotional experiences due to their parents’ emigration is verified by a chosen qualitative narrative approach. Based on stories of grandparents, the meaning of separation was reconstructed into a narrative describing the meaning of relationships to the grandchild left behind. Having lin­ked the meaning constructed by all coherent stories, we obtained results different from those usually described in other studies. Perception of the phenomenon via narrative cognition mode enabled to understand that although children face difficulties, a close complementary relationship with grandparents, a three-generation family model and daily commu­nication with emigrated parents help them accept the changes.

Keywords: grandparents, temporary migration, help narratives, domi­nant narratives, narrative approach, qualitative research.


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