Book Review- Parenthood
Between Generations: Transforming Reproductive
Cultures, by Siân Pooley and Kaveri Qureshi (Eds.)
Berghahn, Oxford 2016. £65.00 hardback.
Published online: 5 July 2017
Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017
This edited volume of ten diverse chapters looks at the transformation of reproductive
cultures at the individual and the societal level; ‘the making – and breaking – of relations
between generations’. Volume 32 in a series on ‘Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality’
with Soraya Tremayne, Marcia Inhorn and Philip Kreager as general editors, it aims to
explore ─ through a comparative and interdisciplinary lens ─ how parenthood is passed
on across time and space. To this end the focus, through a qualitative approach, is more
on intergenerational transmission as a process rather than solely on the outcome.
The volume is organised along the lines of four central processes by which inter-
generational transmission by / to kin takes place, namely implicit normative expecta-
tions, moral judgements, habituation, and memory. This does not necessarily imply that
these different processes function in isolation from each other but rather that the
primary one is highlighted conceptually. Cutting across these chapters are the concepts
of reproduction, generation and transmission – all in the context of the ‘passing-on’ of
reproductive cultures. Another common feature is the use of generations: vertically
across generations within kin networks; horizontally within generations; and genera-
tions as agents for change over time.
Chapters 1 to 3 illustrate transmission between the generations by conveying implicit
normative expectations: how taken-for-granted normative expectations are transferred
to younger generations through, among others, ritual transformations, analogies, un-
derstood silences or general statements. This is contextualised by Pralat in Chapter 1.
Population Ageing (2018) 11:209–212
* Jaco Hoffman
Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa