The University of New Mexico’s Language, Literacy and Sociocultural Studies department chair, professor Ziarat Hossain, co-edited a book with professor David Shwalb from Southern Utah University called “Grandparents in Cultural Context” and has recently been published.

The book integrates new ideas into previously established concepts surrounding grandparenthood. It includes authors from 15 countries and covers grandparenting in 12 diverse societies across four continents: North America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The book discusses cultural, economic and historical influences on the role of grandparenting and its contribution to child development. Discussions in each chapter are enriched by presenting relevant customs, proverbs and case studies.



The book emphasizes the role of grandparents across diverse cultures. The authors describe how people from different parts of the world view grandparenting and its impact on family, children and grandchildren. It examines how grandparenting has evolved over time, particularly in terms of economics, social structures and health issues in general.

”Lack of research, as well as our personal interests in terms of dealing grandparenting (as) an extension of parenting, were the two main motivations along with various other smaller kinds of reasons,” Hossain said.

Shwalb is already a grandparent and Hossin’s research focuses primarily on parenting., They both agreed that grandparenting is an extension of parenting. However, Hossin and Shwalb found that there is very little research that has been done on grandparenting especially from a cultural perspective.

The overall structure and the tone of the book is geared towards professionals and academicians in the field. The book does not use a significant amount of academic jargon, meaning anyone can read it if they would like.

Every chapter includes stories from various cultures in addition to proverbs about grandparents. The book also demonstrates the evolution of grandparenting over time.

Contrary to previously published books on grandparenting, this book presents a diverse perspective that includes cultural variations related to the roles of grandparents. The final chapter of the book defines some similarities and differences in grandparenting practices across these various cultures.

Mohib Rehman, one of the advisees of Hossain and a Ph.D. student in the family studies said, “It seems to me that this book is different from previous books written on the topic of grandparenting as it encompasses more diverse cultures from almost all the continents and these features make it unique,”

Tasawar Shah is the news reporter at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @tashah_80.