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Upward transmission, inverted filiation, reverse socialization: intergenerational relationships considered inversely

Transmission à rebours, filiation inversée, socialisation ascendante : regards renversés sur les rapports de générations
Delphine Lobet et Lidia Eugenia Cavalcante
Cet article est une traduction de :
Transmission à rebours, filiation inversée, socialisation ascendante : regards renversés sur les rapports de générations


Cet article introductif propose un aperçu de la situation présente de la recherche en sciences sociales sur la question des rapports de génération étudiés dans le sens inverse au sens habituel, c’est-à-dire dans le sens enfants-parents. Comment la recherche traite-t-elle cette importante question de la transmission à rebours, de la socialisation inversée, de la filiation ascendante, en bref comment traite-t-elle cette question : que font les enfants à leurs parents et à leur famille? Il propose ensuite de réfléchir au contexte actuel de l’accélération des savoirs : quel impact la société de l’information multiconnectée peut-elle avoir sur les rapports parents-enfants en ce qui concerne la transmission et la socialisation, précisément? Enfin, nous reviendrons sur les « trouvailles », sur les principales découvertes que les auteurs de ce numéro d’Enfances Familles Générations ont retirées de l’exercice de renversement du regard auquel ils se sont prêtés.

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Notes de la rédaction

English translation by Geoffrey Edwards Vitale, PhD. He also translated those official quotations for which no English version appeared available.

Texte intégral

1The reason for our decision to devote a full edition of Enfances Familles Générations to “upward transmission,” “inverted filiation,” and “reverse socialization,” was in order to publicize an assessment and to share a sociological frustration: the fact that within the family, the relationship between generations is largely seen as stretching from parents to children, from the elderly to the young, from ancestors to their descendants. However, everyone realizes that such relationships are not one-way operations, and that “in most families, intergenerational confrontation creates spheres of influence, introduces new ideas and encourages their relative acceptance. Changes brought in by young people generate shock waves that influence the other generations and, via family mediation, spread through the social body as a whole.” (Attias-Donfut, 2000: 661). Despite this, sociology appears to remain confined to one family pattern and quite unable to modify the way it looks at the generations, in order to see the “family flow,” i.e. everything that is circulated within the family (tastes, values, ideas, memories, apprenticeships, affiliation, property) from the children-to-parents aspect.

2In this introductory article, we will start with an overview of the research—mainly French-language—that has addressed the question of family flow reversal, and an indication of the limits of such research. To what extent do they concern themselves with the major question of understanding what children do to or bring to their parents? We will then look at the current societal context, characterized by a speed up in knowledge acquisition and intergenerational technological leaps and bounds. What can be the exact impact of a multi-connected information society on parent-child relationships as regards transmission and socialization? Finally, we will return to the main findings made by the authors of this edition of Enfances Familles Générations when focusing on the about-face reversal to which they devoted themselves.

Research involving the reversal of family flow

3French-language research directed towards family solidarity and assistance has already focused largely on the reversal of the family flow via the interest it has shown in those ages where relationships of dependence are reversed and in the “pivotal generations” where people find themselves in situations where they provide help to their parents, even to their grandparents, while taking care of their children. The survey carried out by Clément, Bonvalet and Ogg (France and Great Britain, 2006) concerning the relationship between baby-boomers and their parents demonstrates that assistance to parents has grown and will continue to do so as the population ages, even though such manifestations of intergenerational solidarity (whether obligatory or voluntary) are primarily addressed to the children, even when these have grown up. Thus, today, the first people having to deal with the “integration of young people into the adult world are the baby-boomers. They are fully aware of how difficult it is for their children to become independent, given the current state of the labour market […] and the difficulties related to the housing market.” (Clément et al., 2011: 7) As regards these generations, even where there are no material worries, the children remain the prime beneficiaries of family assistance, since “there is a genuine mutual help system involving the timely or regular caring for grandchildren” (id.). In the case of “upward transmission,” as designated by Attias-Donfut (1991: 105), the first thought that comes to mind is the assistance provided by children to their parents suffering a loss of autonomy. But these exchanges have more to do with a flow of family solidarity and sociability that is basically multidirectional, rather than vertical (this type of solidarity also involving half-blood relatives and other collaterals, and not being limited to the relationships between the parents and their children.

4Other researchers have investigated the family flow reversal, noting that children invent their own inheritance, more especially by giving a patrimonial meaning to certain family belongings. These may be high-value objects, or trinkets whose only worth is that attributed to them by the owner, but in both cases the children make it their duty to look after them even though their deceased owner had never ruled that they should do so. Blandine Mortain points out that this reaction is sparked off by births, that a birth is an event that “suddenly triggers the desire to seek out the material traces of previous generations and to learn more about one’s family roots. It is thanks to the birth of children, to the arrival of a new generation, that the dynamics of the generations and their continuity are reactivated.” Discussing this, the author refers to the “family downstream perpetuation process.” (Mortain, 2003: 50) This process of choosing and mesmerising objects corresponds in every way to the process of patrimonialization, to the dynamics “of the discovery, of the ‘fabrication’ of the object in question and of its social recognition as an element of their inheritance,” as described by Davallon (2002: 60) to illustrate the production of the cultural patrimony. The author thence shares Eco’s notion of a “logic of discovery” that accounts for an operation whereby any object “as of the moment when it is brought out and rediscovered as a ‘find’ (here we are referring to any object that is linked to an ancestor)” may become valuable through its linkage or testimonial nature and “transmit a series of concepts that have nothing to do with the intentions of its producer,” (Eco, 1993: 12-13) and that make their preservation necessary. In the case in point, “the hereditary item has been discovered or rediscovered, but not passed on” (Davallon, 2002a: 58); it is the heirs, or to be more precise the self-proclaimed heirs, that discover the patrimony, and its preservation is not a task assigned to them by their predecessors. There is thus, as Davallon points out, a basic difference “between transmission by patrimonialization and transmission through legacy, memory or tradition, the characteristic of which is to remove any choice from their recipient,” (2002b). Still other researchers have noted that, far from allowing themselves to accept the family history as offered by their ascendants, individuals construct their own family memories, “they reserve the right to choose their inheritance” (De Singly, 2005: 33), thus creating a filiation link “of which they do not intend to be deprived nor, above all, to be the prey.” (Déchaux, 1997: 314).

5Based on this patrimonialization logic, if children do indeed impact their parents by taking part in what Blandine Mortain refers to as the “family downstream perpetuation process,” this is simply, and despite themselves, a consequence of their being born. Their birth, and the generational shift that this provokes, provide a pretext, an opportunity, a circumstance for patrimonialization. It is not a concrete dynamic of family flow reversal. As for the heirs who participate actively in this patrimonialization by “discovering” their inheritance, even though there is a reversal of the family flow (they practice self-transmission), from a practical point of view, this does not affect in any way those from whom they inherit. And this is the question that interests us: what do the children actively do to their parents?

6As regards “reversed influences,” to quote Attias-Donfut, Lapierre and Segalen (2002: 237), research constantly refers to the social, cultural and technological innovations that the younger children import into the family, thus becoming educators, and even the “promoters” of certain pratices. This ambassadorial role played by the children characterizes leisure activities, more especially “music consumption,” where the younger members of the family introduce their parents to products to which the latter would not generally have access because of the “increased segmentation of the music and broadcasting markets” (October, 2006: § 51). The children also act as “parental socialization agents, more especially when it is a question of the more technological activities where, in certain environments, the child’s skills are greater than those of their parents (when dealing with computers, for example).” (ibid.: § 62). In the following section we shall in fact come back to intergenerational relationships related to technological innovations. As regards social innovations, we mean values and political ideas developed in outside society and brought into the family by the children, from the social worlds that they enjoy away from parental co-presence. This fact led Attias-Donfut (2000: 662) to point out that, as “Mannheim indicated, the problem of generations is important if one is to understand social change. Interactions between the generations do to some extent bring about changes that affect society as a whole.”

7Research on immigration and exile also derives from situations where a reversal of parent-child relationships can be observed. Take, for instance, the example of a child conceived and born in exiled solitude, who later starts up a new family line and becomes the “founding ancestor” (Adohane, 2007). Or, more generally, consider immigrant families that settle down, become acculturated, integrated, and familiar with their host society thanks to the privileged contacts between the latter and their children, contacts generated, for example, through the child’s school attendance. The child “often has to act as a cultural interpreter or even as a mediator” between its parents and society (Bérubé, 2004: 32), at the risk of the child selecting and emphasising certain aspects in such a way as to manipulate the reality offered to its parents (ibid.: 204-205). Amongst the Canadian students interviewed by Ambert in the early Nineties regarding the impact they thought they had or had had on their parents, it was those whose parents were immigrants (more especially Greek, Italian and Portuguese) who were the most forthcoming as regarded their positive or negative impacts. In this context, “negative” implied “North-americanization” and referred to the child’s mastery of the English language and school education, which cast a shadow over the parents’ own culture and lifestyle, thus lowering their level of parental authority (Ambert, 1992: 139-141). However, as far as the child is concerned, this cultural shock has a positive side: when, for example, it can persuade its mother to become more independent than she was within the family pattern that characterized her original culture (ibid.: 137).

8Finally, one might consider all the occasions when a child, witnessing a situation where a parent is in need or in distress, is so desirous of helping that parent that their roles are to some extent switched around. The child, to use the psychological term, is “parentified” when it becomes the helper or supporter of that parent, taking on a “parentific” role of affection, support, acknowledgement and trust, becoming as it were the parent of its parent rather than its child (Bérubé, 2004: 204; Haxhe, 2013).

9This brief overview of research permits us to see that there are many examples of intergenerational influences that contradict the downward movement from parents to children, traditionally deemed to be the standard flow within a family. There is no denying such influences, but on the whole they have not been subject to much documented research or at least to any methodic approach (they have not been treated as a major research subject); more to the point, there has been little structuring of a theoretical framework. As far as we are aware, this phenomenon has not, so far, been subject to any systematic reflection. Such reflection would most certainly be productive if one considered upward family influence taking into account the notion of socialization, which, as Lahire very opportunely reminds us, in order to be “a useful concept,” i.e. “scientifically profitable,” must meet the following requirements: “define—describe and analyze—the frameworks (universe, authorities, institutions), the methods (ways, forms, techniques, etc.), the time (the moment in an individual trajectory, the duration of socializing activities, the level of intensity and the rhythm of such actions) and the consequences (the more or less lasting ‘social dispositions’ to believe, to feel, to judge and to represent onself).” (Lahire, 2013: 117). What are the frameworks, the methods, the time and impact of the child’s influence on its parents? The application of these straightforward but basic questions to the relationship between children and their parents would allow us to seriously move forward as regards the description and understanding of family relationships.

10Clearly, we have not yet generated widescale empirical work nor innovative and satisfactory conceptual benchmarks regarding “what children do to their parents,” a finding that we need to establish, as it already was by Ambert in 1992 in The Effect of Children on Parents, a publication that represented the state of the art on this matter as well as being an exploratory work. She too noted that the phenomenon was both known and documented, but that: “Nevertheless, although these developments toward child effect and reciprocity of effect between parent and child are now solidly entrenched […], the literature in general has failed to follow suit in a substantial manner” (1992: 7). It is precisely this failing that our present edition wished to correct by inviting writers to offer their comments on the question or, going further, to adopt this approach as a starting point for their research.

11But prior to focusing more precisely on their contributions and on how they highlight the upward transmissions, we shall begin with a rapid analysis of the context in which families evolve today in the Western world. A new and basic element is the advent of the information society, which has democratized knowledge and increased the sources of socialization. Knowledge has become, to some extent, a “self-service” product and is no longer the privilege of institutions such as the School, the Church, the community association, parents or peers. Knowledge is everywhere and available to everyone. And, in this new world, young people, such as Serres’ Thumbelina (2012), are undoubtedly more knowledgeable than their parents. This represents a major reversal.

A new context for families and for upward transmission

12The model defined as the traditional family structure has been undergoing deconstruction for a number of decades already: “Looking back, we can affirm that the practical and ideological deconstruction of the family was ‘programmed in the Sixties. The oppositional passion of those years resulted in a complete ‘reworking’ of the family” (Dagenais, 2000: 12). But as the information society developed, family relationships evolved still more rapidly, taking new directions. Of course, it was society as a whole and not only the family that was changing. As Castells pointed out: “One must first remember that there has been a multi-dimensional transformation of the world in which we live for at least twenty years, but which is now speeding up. And this transformation was often noticed, but mainly from a technological point of view.” (2005: 1)

13More and more exposed to information, individuals find themselves facing changes in lifestyles, learning strategies, and consumption. Such a context highlights new relationships between individuals and, in the context with which we are specifically involved here, brings out phenomena of upward transmission, along with new forms of socialization and inheritance. This leads to much consideration as regards the structuring of the contemporary family’s symbolic universe (de Singly, 2010). There are many studies that bring out the impact of such transitions on society and more remarkably on education, culture, memory, and politics, as well as in the religious, economic and technological fields. These initial observations underline both the social transformations and the need to understand their impact on family relationships, the parental role, and the child’s place in today’s society. Over the past years, we have seen the emergence of different ways in which a family can operate within society. This new global trend to changes in family relationships has also led to the restructuring of the parent-child relationship by strengthening the influence of children on their parents.

14Thanks to the new ways in which information is transmitted and disseminated within society, people have changed their consumer preferences, their eating habits, their musical tastes; their tourism projects are more expansive, and they are updating their technological instruments, etc. Technological changes clearly demonstrate that cultural practices, lifestyles and the way in which parents and children communicate on a daily basis are evolving. For example, digital tools may isolate individuals, yet at the same time create new forms of communication. We thus discover new forms of social interaction resulting from the new technological tools that have become part of so many families. We can see this as a form of “cultural refreshment” provided by children who—which is recent—have grown up with Internet and acquired a numerical culture. Caradec pointed out that “it is often through third-party intervention that (grandparents) learn to use such technology, and that it is more often their children— rather than their grandchildren—that play this third-party role. Technology seems to create both a link and a gap between generations” (2001: 71). The role of grandchildren is often to hotline these activities, according to a 73-year-old interviewee; they “appear to be more deeply involved in helping with the activity itself. “ (Le Douarin and Caradec, 2009: § 18) This means that the new technologies stimulate situations of exchange and apprenticeship from the young to the elderly, though it does not necessarily exclude the fact that grandparents are sometimes themselves well-informed with regard to certain technologies and can also teach their grandchildren. (ibid.: § 19)

15When it comes to Internet users, children, and above all adolescents, are the ones who have the least trouble understanding the workings of technological tools: computers, mobile telephones, video games, social networks, notebooks, smartphones, etc., all of which means that they play an important role in offering instruction to their own parents or grandparents. These children are part of a completely new generation. Post-war baby-boomers were followed by generation X, born between 1960 and 1979, then generation Y—either because it refers to the headphone cord that forms a “Y” across the user’s chest or because it comes after generation X. (Briquet, 2012: 30) Of course, baby-boomers, and even those who preceded them (Le Douarin and Caradec, 2009), and a fortiori generation X, were confirmed Internet users, but one should remember that those belonging to generation Y are the first to have “grown up alongside a personal computer and, at an early age, to be confronted with the Internet […], with a portable electronic devices and mobile telephones.” (Briquet, 2012: 30-31). These people are digital natives.

16Over and beyond the impact of the information society and these new technologies, one needs to remember that child socialization also takes place outside the private space where members of the family live together, more particularly within the school setting. Contact with one’s comrades plays a very important role in the lives of children and young people. Together they develop their way of seeing things, of grasping and learning about real situations in all their complexity. This creates different situations: it occasionally generates tensions, conflicts, a cultural shock between the family’s domestic realm and the outside world. Yet sometimes, on the contrary, experiences on both sides contribute to tolerance and to the discovery and appreciation of diversity within multi-ethnic, multicultural and multi-religious societies. Although the family continues “to act as a filter with regard to the media and a range of extrafamilial cultural authorities, and to take upon itself […] the imperceptible but continuous task of interpretation and judgement,” (Lahire, 2013: 124), the interactions between the child and third parties, whether the latter be the school, community associations, peer groups, cultural institutions, sports groups, etc., do create new uses, new knowledge, new tastes, and also new ways of being a member of one’s family, and new forms of intergenerational relationships.

17Within the Western family, children are recognized as partner subjects and enjoy a level of autonomy within the family. They enjoy a power of decision and influence that goes remarkably further than it did in previous generations. For example, children, mainly adolescents, are considered by their parents as having the competence required to participate in purchasing decisions, in family consumer choices, and in other more important decisions. One should thus take into account the fact that ideas do not move in one direction and that the child takes part in family construction and production (which is brought out especially well in Claire Ganne’s concept of infancy, found in this edition). This realization brings up other questions, and the contributions to this edition of Enfances Familles Générations discuss some of them and suggest initial answers, for example, to the following question: what are the social contexts in which child interventions are the most evident and in what fields do they first take place?

What children do to their parents

18Although none of those who have contributed to this edition have opted for the digital era in their approach, some of their comments do help us appreciate the impact of the web on the parent-child relationship and to realize that it allows children a certain authority. The children who are the main topic of discussion in the present edition are descendants of first, second or even third generation immigrants (see articles by Jérôme Gidoin, Christine Rodier or Simeng Wang) and all of them are better educated than were their parents, leading to the results noted by those researchers involved with social mobility: “The cultural influence of children on their parents is one of the rebound consequences of social mobility.” Parents who say that they were “strongly influenced” by their children “regarding problems as basic as religious or political orientation, or with respect to social or educational issues, […] [had] children enjoying greater social mobility than the majority [of those who made up the sample]” (according to Claudine Attias-Donfut, 2000: 660, in her 1991 comments on a French survey.) If mobility is not social here (not yet, at least, for these overly young children), it has already established itself in the educational and cultural capital, which is more important in the new generations and more legitimate in the host society. The knowledge enjoyed by these children is acquired at school, from their peers, and also from the Web, whose presence affects every experience, as one may detect from the subtexts underlying various articles appearing in the present edition.

19This edition also brings up many questions involving family migratory contexts and the tension undergone by such families when their identities and their cultural experience confront those of the host society due to their desire to preserve their culture and their memories. As Tebbakh (2007: § 6) pointed out: “Though it is often described as being both tender and complex, the process of transmitting migratory memories does indeed exist, but its sanctuary is the family habitat, and it thus remains difficult to circumscribe.” Here, however, we are in a position where we can observe the transmission of migratory memory actually taking place. It occurs very often when the family is at table and, as we can see, is not enjoyed by some children (see Christine Cordier) while called for by others (read Anne Dupuy’s description of the differences between older people born “over there” and the younger ones born “here”). For children, foods and mealtimes are a kind of Trojan Horse, an efficient way to manipulate parents into adopting their way of seeing things. Culinary memories are sometimes rejected for reasons of taste, but not that alone. This can be seen in Christine Cordier’s article, which deals with the question of Halal, a requirement made by the younger generation because of a desire to restore a “genuine,” intelligent religion, shorn of its folklore and its tradition, and also because of a desire to eat more French-style, less rich and less fatty food. This became a way of inviting their parents to modernize their attitude to food. As one of the young women interviewed responded: “Halal is a way of underlining the fact that one is both Muslim and French.” That is an affirmation that should be of interest to those turbulently debating the role of Halal in France.

20As regards dietary habits, one may also read Anne Dupuy’s article on reversed food socialization. Some of her remarks match up with those of Christine Cordier:

From the viewpoint of discussions regarding cultural continuity and attachment to dietary models going back to the initial socialization, reverse socialization corresponds to a lever for the integration of families through the prismatic changes introduced by youngsters […]. These children, henceforth deemed to be the prescribers of standards and practices, socialize their parents into new dietary behaviour.

21She also notes that:

One of the State’s investment strategies when it comes to children’s diet can be identified by the roles given to the school with respect both to food education and socialization, thus using the children as transmitters of nutritional standards to their parents, […]. The school intervention provides numerous occasions when the child receives information, while at the same time being trained up to be a dietary prescriber […], passing on this information to its parents, and policing its implementation […].

22This time, it is the State that is using diet and children as a Trojan Horse with which to educate families. And the State’s behaviour can also be seen in the food-processing industry, where: “advertising is aimed at building up a reverse child-to-parent socialization, thus reducing egalitarian dynamics and endowing children with authority over their parents when it comes to food purchases.” (Dupuy)

23Another field where children appear to have some ascendancy over their parents is that of religion. Using a more academic, more documented and less traditional approach, they argue in favour of a “truer” religion. In France, this is brought out by Christine Cordier, discussing Islam, while Jérome Gidoin writes about Buddhism within the Vietnamese community:

It is already noticeable that the young generations tend to pass on to their parents the notion of a new form of religion, based on their rediscovery of the ethical values attached to a deeper concept of Vietnamese Buddhism: “Unlike my grandparents, my parents are not practising Buddhists. But they are proud when I accompany them to the pagoda to pay occasional homage to our forbears. As for me, I go a little deeper through my reading and I provide them with some enlightenment with respect to Buddhism,” […] it should be noted that parental Buddhism is generally rudimentary, one might even call it “peripheral”; it is one religious reference amongst others, the true religion being the ancestral cult. (Gidoin)

24In her article, Simeng Wang discusses the difficult family relationships engendered within the Wenzhou community by deferred emigration (parents emigrate from China and later, often several years later, arrange for their children to come to France), and the emotional cutoffs thus induced, the difficult living and working conditions undergone by these migrants and, more especially, the major demands imposed on the children by parents, which totally reverse their intergenerational relationship. In a country whose language the parents have not mastered and where they sometimes have an irregular status, the children are required to provide them—even though they sometimes have not grown up with them—with what parents must usually bestow on their children. They find themselves in a “reverse family obligation”situation, and these children receive from their parents “little affection, little administrative security, little of the legitimate French cultural capital, etc.” Nevertheless, they must provide “interpretation” services (the parents having no French language skills), economic support (help in the family business, the repayment of certain allowances) and, finally, “administrative” support (since the child enjoys a legal presence in that country, whereas its parents have no papers, or, at a simpler level, since the child can handle the language of the host country, it will be able to help its parents to “manage” when they have to go through administrative routines). Simeng Wang provides a very good description of the dismay felt by these children, who enjoy very little of what parents usually offer—suffering rather from the lack of affection, of security, of the legitimate capital offered by the host society—but who are required to give a lot in return, “becoming to some extent the ‘parents of their parents’ on the cultural, economic, and administrative stage.”

25We have not yet discussed the article by Claire Ganne, in which she analyses the concept of “infanthood”, a pendant to “parenthood”, focused here, of course, on the child. Being a child means being “the child of”: but how is “infanthood” determined, “what dimensions do children bring together in order to define themselves as the child of an adult or of a group?” This reversal of the conceptual framework of generational relationships is intended to fill in a gap: “Indeed, if the vectors of parenthood come together in a useful framework that describes the relationship of adults with a child, they still do not allow us to analyze the way in which children recognized the position of various adults, or the role that they believed them to play.” However, we could take over the conclusion arrived at by Claire Ganne, i.e. that: “[…] the notion of infanthood finally suggests that we multiply our research into families, looking at it from the child’s point of view, and ignoring adult classification of the different family structures.”

26Going beyond this well-balanced and productive perspective, that involves also looking at the child’s point of view, we should, more generally, come to the understanding and recognition of the fact that children are indeed mediators of a “secondary socialization,” involving their parents and the significant members of their family. When we use the term secondary socialization, we are adopting the same meaning as did Lahire respecting the development of “new mental and behavioural dispositions,” (2013: 129). Doubtless, adopting the terminology used by Berger and Kellner (1980), “the conversation” between parents and their children has an impact on family members comparable to that of marriage and conjugal conversation on the partners. This is all the more likely in a society where, as we have seen, what children have to say is listened to and taken into consideration more than in the past, and where the idiology of the elective family opens the door to deconjugalization, and thus makes a relationship with the child more permanent than that with the spouse. One might wonder whether, in 2014, Berger and Kellner would be quite so sure about writing that “children, friends, parents […] have roles to play in order to strengthen the fragile structure of a new reality [set up through marriage]” and that “the children constitute the major element in this grouping,” since “it is the marriage partners themselves who look after their socialization […] leading to the required consequence that its objectivation rapidly becomes more cohesive, more plausible and more long-lasting.” (ibid.: 37-38). In this text which originally came out in 1964, the child took no part in the conjugal conversation, unless it was as a passive listener, who ipso facto embodied and stabilized the reality engendered by this conversation between its parents. The authors symptomatically see the nuclear family via the couple. Once it has been established that children affect the family, one then needs to understand how all this works. For this purpose, we need to recall and remember the questions put forward by Lahire: what are the frameworks, the strategies, the time and the consequences of child influence on parents?

27We must hope that this introduction and the contributions brought together in this edition of Enfances Familles Générations will encourage researchers to take a new look at the family, a look that involves children as much as parents, and that they will seriously increase their investigation of upward transmission, reverse socialization and inverted filiation. Whatever name we give to these phenomena [and the reader will have noticed a certain number of variations in the attached texts], the subject still has a long way to go and the frustration that we brought up at the beginning is not yet fully eliminated.

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Delphine Lobet et Lidia Eugenia Cavalcante, « Upward transmission, inverted filiation, reverse socialization: intergenerational relationships considered inversely », Enfances Familles Générations [En ligne], 20 | 2014, mis en ligne le 15 mai 2014, consulté le 30 octobre 2020. URL :

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Delphine Lobet

Researcher, Urbanisation Culture Société Research Centre, Institut national de la recherche scientifique (Canada),

Lidia Eugenia Cavalcante

Professor, Department of Information Sciences, Federal University of Ceara (Brazil),

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Enfances Familles Générations est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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