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Family as a safe haven? Families in social practice and narratives in times of crises 
Sona Gyarfas Lutherova (Slovak Academy of Sciences)
Adriana Zaharijević (University of Belgrade)
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Saturday 10 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Prague

Short Abstract:

Today, families have a decisive role when people cope with the feeling of uncertainty in their everyday lives. Family is also central to the individual and public discourse on crises. As the narratives become ideologically infused, the gap between social practices and public discourse widens.

Long Abstract:

In uncertain times, as individuals and societies, we attempt to make sense of crises. Living in a risk society (Beck, 1986), we are searching for stability, trying to understand what constitutes threats and for whom (Adam & Jost, 2004). Often, we turn to our families as the anchor in the tempestuous times, as it provides us with ties to the past but also with a promise of the future. Home and its idealized notions of intimacy and security are at the center of family life (Clarke, 2001). However, uncertain times may introduce particular tensions to the family lives or enhance those that are already present. How do we experience our family lives during the crisis? What is the role of the family in our everyday practices when coping with uncertainties? How do we reflect on this narratively?

Today the narratives on families abound, and various actors feed on our tendency to turn to family in times of crisis. Family is at the center stage of many far-right political movements, which push forcefully for a particular "natural" order of things. Hence, narratives on families clash in the fluster of meanings and perspectives, and the gap between social practices and public discourse widens. How does the crises-induced narrativization of families restrict the lived forms of familial life? How are individuals affected by the political attempts to reduce the family to a single legitimate form? How such politicization of family furthers the crisis through polarizations, erasures, and devaluates of everyday practices deemed "unnatural"?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Saturday 10 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Saturday 10 June, 2023, -