The family as an institution is undergoing crucial changes related to the dramatic socioeconomic changes of the last decades. New forms of intimacy, technology and social organization provide noticeable challenges to a monolithic view of the traditional South Asian joint family.
The family is not an ahistorical category. In India, the Hindu middle-class joint family represents an idealized normative discourse but socioeconomic changes of the last decades stimulate trends of migration and urbanization that crucially contribute to a differentiation of lifestyles and family arrangements. New forms of intimate relationships, parenting, technological inventions impacting family planning or changing patterns of bride migration provide noticeable challenges to the monolithic view of the 'traditional' family. On the other hand, family remains the pivotal institution around which anxieties of cultural and identity losses are centered. These potentially conflictual developments may surface in very different discourses, for example in the visualization of anti- and pro-natal technologies or the current-media based discussion on cohabitation. Debates around changing family constellations and family-related practices oscillate between moral condemnation on the grounds of 'culture and tradition' and affirmative legal changes as well as a welcoming attitude among certain sections of the society. During this conference panel we aim at bringing together different aspects and perspectives and build up a network of scholars who share an interest and competence in this field. We invite scholars to submit papers addressing one or several of the following themes related to questions of changing family realities: sexuality & reproduction, class & morality, intergenerational relationships.