Doing Family over Time: The Multilayered and Multitemporal Nature of Intergenerational Caring through Consumption

Anne Kastarinen, Elina Närvänen, Anu Valtonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Care is a central dimension of family consumption. Previous studies have explored it as interpersonal, emotional work performed through everyday consumption practices. Most of these studies have investigated care as articulated in the present time and within nuclear families. This study sets out to explore the relations between grandparents and grandchildren, arguing that it provides an intriguing case for enriching the current understanding of care in family consumption and its multitemporal nature. To this aim, the study conducts qualitative interviews and employs a narrative version of the theory of generativity to conceptualize the multifaceted ways in which caring manifests through consumption in grandparent–grandchild relations. As a result, the study offers a processual framework of intergenerational caring through consumption (ICTC). The analysis identifies, first, the multi-layered nature of ICTC, consisting of three layers of caring enacted through generative acts. Second, it identifies three temporal perspectives to ICTC, revealing its multitemporal nature. The framework provides novel insights into how familial caring is done from generation to generation, and a desire to care is kept alive in today’s consumer society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282-302
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Early online date22 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • family consumption
  • grandparent-grandchild relations
  • caring
  • narrative
  • generativity
  • temporality

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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