The effects of social change on relationships between older mothers and daughters in Turkey: a qualitative study

Mottram S., Hortacsu N.

AGEING & SOCIETY, vol.25, pp.675-691, 2005 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1017/s0144686x05004022
  • Title of Journal : AGEING & SOCIETY
  • Page Numbers: pp.675-691


This paper discusses several changes in mother-daughter relationships in Turkey and their association with changing social conditions. It is based on in-depth interviews with 30 older mothers and their adult daughters. As a country experiencing rapid urbanisation, westernisation, military coups and economic crises, Turkey provides an increasingly changing setting for the investigation of inter-cohort changes in inter-generational relationships. Most of the mothers in the study were born during the 1930s, soon after the foundation of the Turkish Republic. They grew Lip during an era of material scarcity, restrictive social norms and few opportunities for advancement, and lived in a relatively homogeneous and stable social context. Most of the daughters were born during the 1950s; they grew up at a time of rapid social change and. political turmoil but relative material abundance, and were exposed to consumerism and individualistic values that emphasised personal achievement and independence. The ideals and opportunities of the mothers' youth conflicted with those presented to their children, and the goals of and approaches to parenting became unstable and a source of anxiety. The daughters were caught between their parents' and their children's demands, which produced conflicts between their ideals and reality, and many experienced internal and inter-personal conflicts. Both mothers and daughters attributed differences in their personalities and parenting styles to the changing times.