Published: 2023-12-311

“Respect thy father and thy mother in old age” – on the social determinants of the (in) presence of old age in the space of the Polish family. Reminiscences of representatives of the Baby Boomers generation

Emilia Kramkowska

Abstract

Old age is a life stage that is very often analyzed in the context of losses and the many difficulties that an elderly person must face. Dependence or reliance inherent for many seniors make their successful daily functioning require third-party support. Socio-cultural or legal rationales allow us to expect that help for dependent seniors will be provided by the family. However, the reality around us verifies this belief often to the disadvantage of the family environment. Moreover, it turns out that the opinion on the (in)presence of old age in the space of the Polish family, significantly depends on the generational affiliation of those who make an assessment of the state of affairs. This is due, among other things, to the social conditions and the axionormative system in which the socialization process of the representatives of each generation took place.

The submitted article discusses the reminiscences of representatives of the generation of post-war Baby Boomers, i.e. people born between 1946 and 1964. Experiencing childhood and the years of early adolescence in the conditions of the Polish People’s Republic, including attachment to the family and religious values of Polish society at the time, are circumstances that cannot be ignored, determining the views of people growing up at the time.

Based on qualitative research conducted in 2022, the text will discuss the recollections of women and men of the Baby Boomers generation regarding old age in the family space during their childhood, as well as opinions on contemporary trends. The author’s intention is to convince the reader that religion’s function of providing and sustaining a sense of meaning and purpose in existence, especially under the harsh reality of communist times, was not without influence on the identity and attitudes of the Baby Boomers generation growing up at the time.

Keywords:

the elderly, Baby Boomers, the Church history, family, aging poulation

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Kramkowska, E. (2023). “Respect thy father and thy mother in old age” – on the social determinants of the (in) presence of old age in the space of the Polish family. Reminiscences of representatives of the Baby Boomers generation. Rocznik Teologii Katolickiej, 22, 64–82. Retrieved from https://rtk.uwb.edu.pl/index.php/rtk/article/view/69

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