Zero Generation Grandparents Caring for Their Grandchildren in Switzerland. The Diversity of Transnational Care Arrangements among EU and Non-EU Migrant Families

Author(s) : Malika Wyss, Mihaela Nedelcu

Source :


« The Zero generation (G0) – i.e. the mobile parents of adult migrants – constitutes a new and significant actor in the context of transnational migration and family solidarity. Instead of being simply reduced to the status of ‘orphan pensioners left behind, existing scholarship has shown that migrants’ parents actively contribute to the transnational circulation of care, providing valuable support to their children and grandchildren in host countries.

Based on ongoing qualitative research conducted with migrant families in Switzerland, this paper builds on empirical data gathered through interviews with both migrants and their G0 parents, from EU (France, Italy, Germany, Romania and Portugal) and non-EU countries (Brazil and North-African). It systematically describes and explains the specific characteristics of four G0 grandparenting patterns, defined as G0 care arrangements (G0-A), that reflect the essence of care provided by G0 grandparents in physical copresence situations. In addition, a comparative lens applied to these patterns highlights the existing variations with regard to the G0 grandparents’ country of origin, along with the EU/non-EU divide within Swiss migration policy. »



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