Print version ISSN 0104-7183
THELEN, Tatjana and LEUTLOFF-GRANDITS, Carolin. Self-sacrifice or natural donation? A life course perspective on grandmothering in new zagreb (Croatia) and east Berlin (Germany). Horiz. antropol. [online]. 2010, vol.16, n.34, pp. 427-452. ISSN 0104-7183. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-71832010000200018.
In this article we explore grandmaternal care and its interpretations in two European capitals of former socialist countries, Zagreb and Berlin. We describe the scope and variety of grandmaternal care practices both field sites and then contrast two grandmotherly interpretations of their intensive caring for grandchildren The different appraisal of their similar practice as self-sacrifice and natural donation respectively is embedded in different life course experiences of these two women. Both grandmothers lived in socialist states and made the experience of profound change with political and economic restructuring. But while socialist eastern Germany and Croatia had many similar traits they also differed in important aspects. While our interlocutors attributed their practice generally to post-socialist developments, they based their judgements on different aspects of state responsibility. While demographic developments might create similar opportunities for child care, national and local contexts vary and local actors attribute different meanings to their action.
Keywords : child care; grandmothering; life course; post socialism.