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Becoming a Grandmother


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A social anthropologist who has written on childbirth (The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth), Kitzinger explores here the experience of grandmotherhood both personally and in an historical overview based on detailed research. From questionnaires returned by mothers and grandmothers in the U.S., Britain and Australia, she concludes that "Knowing how to be a grandmother does not come instinctively." Contrasting grandmothers who in traditional cultures were icons with many of today's grandmothers, who often don't view the role as a pinnacle of achievement, Kitzinger covers a broad range of issues that arise once a grandchild is born and family relationships shift and change. With understated advisories, she also addresses the many ways "grandmother skills" can be acquired and enjoyed. (Sept.)

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