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Session Overview
RN13_02a: Family forms and their change in historical time or across the life-course II
Wednesday, 21/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Eric D Widmer, university of Geneva
Session Chair: Kim Bastaits, PXL University College
Location: UP.2.218
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Second Floor Oxford Road

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How Many Relationships Can Fit in One? Analysing Siblings’ Relationships

Andreia Barbas, Sílvia Portugal

Faculty of Economics - University of Coimbra, Portugal

The research leading to this paper aims to analyse the complexity of siblings’ relationships, through two main approaches: a) anchored in the work of Finch (2007), the study intends to look at these relationships as daily relations built through interactions and in contrast to other relationships; b) bringing the contribution of Smart about the role of lineage and memories (2007, 2011), it discusses how being part of the family implies that memories from the past are intertwined within the present and (re)create one another.

To embrace these perspectives the research uses as techniques of data collection life story in-depth interviews and photo elicitation, to reveal the different forms of being a sibling and their changes across the life-course. The sample was based on heterogeneity: by type of group of siblings (full and half-siblings); by number of siblings (2,3,4 or more elements); by gender (female, male and mixed); by age of the mother (born between 1950-1969); by region (rural or urban); and by educational level.

This paper focuses on the preliminary results from the analysis of 60 interviews. First, it discusses the representations about being a sibling: someone who belongs to the family; who is close; who is part of the same family history; someone that shares the same blood – characteristics that confer to sibling’s relationships a unitary character. Then, the paper discusses the plurality of these relations - how many relationships can fit in one? The narratives reveal how the relationships are (re)made over time and their levels of closeness and intimacy.

Single Mothers In Lithuania: Employment, Social Class And Mothering Practices

Deimante Kuconyte-Budeliene

Lithuanian Social Research Centre, Lithuania

Around 53 percent of single mothers with dependent children lives at-risk of poverty and according to this indicator country is among the leaders in EU countries . In this paper we will analyze, the interconnections between single mothers employment, social class and mothering practices in Lithuania.

Existing research suggest, that single mothers employment is substantial to fulfill the ideal of good mothering. Working mothers fulfill the economic role in the family, secure material resources, but employment is also relevant for mother’s psychological well-being (Chistopher, 2012). On the other hand, employment and work-family conflict often leads to dissatisfaction with the quality of the mothering (Roman, 2017). Single employed mothers tends to assess their mothering as „bad“ because of lack of time, energy and financial resources.

The paper is based on the results of the qualitative research. I conducted 22 biographic interview with divorced or separated single mothers, raising dependent children in Lithuania. Research sample is heterogeneous in regard to women‘s education, employment status.

Primary research results revealed variety of strategies how single mothers fulfill the ideal of good mothering. The strategies are highly stratified across the social ladder. The research shows, that low-income single mothers suffer because of the incapacity to fulfill the ideal of “good” mothering. Their experience of mothering is shaped by the low paid work and limited opportunities to combine work and parenting. Single mothers of the lower social class experience sharp internal dilemmas between ideal of good mothering and possibilities to realize them. Higher social class single mothers are oriented towards the child education, they have more resources to respond to the child’s needs, to combine work and mothering.

Transition From Employment To Inactivity Among Mothers In European Countries

Aleksandra Lipasova

Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Spain

Female labour supply is considered to be adaptable and flexible. For a significant number of women, work is not a continuous uninterrupted status but rather an activity that can be put on hold temporarily in order to prioritize other life pursuits, such as raising a family. But large proportion of women never return to the labour market after giving birth. The main question of the current research is “Which factors influence the probability of becoming inactive for mothers in different European countries?”. These factors can be divided into the following types:

(1) Individual factors

(2) Timing of family events

(3) Macro-factors

The theoretical framework used in current research is developmental approach which combines socialization and structural theories. According to this approach, social action is a mix of agency and structure and the alternatives that are available to individuals are determined by their attitudes and internalized gender roles, as well as macro-factors like social policy, economic situation and gender regime. Another theory applied in current research is life course theory that treats events as transitions that change the individuals’ roles, statuses and identities.

The method used in the research is binominal logistic regression, where the dependent variable is a mothers’ probability of becoming inactive at the labour market. Leaving labour market after giving birth can be caused by many factors: precariousness of the job, individual motherhood values, uneven division of housework and childcare tasks, timing of life course events and “women-unfriendly” family policy.

Family Arrangements And Residential Emancipation Trajectories Of Young Catalans From A Subjective Life Satisfaction Perspective

Anna Escobedo, Josep Lluís Condom, Aitor Dominguez Aguayo

University of Barcelona, Spain

Families are confronted with new challenges. Here we discuss if the observed new forms of cohabitation between adult children and parents (in more diverse parental settings) may point towards a new intergenerational contract, and an adaptation to new post-crisis economies and sustainable development in Southern Europe.

The contribution is based on an analysis on family arrangements and residential emancipation of young people, using the Survey on Youth in Catalonia in 2017 (a representative sample of 3423 young people between 15 and 34 years old) which includes retrospective data. We present results on trajectories of residential emancipation, partnership and family formation. In families with young parents, we observe a strong gender impact of the transition to parenthood in the distribution of paid and unpaid work within the couple, and a low use of early education services.

We have analyzed how young people relate different arrangements to life satisfaction. This brings new understandings around decisions or adaptations made by young people in their emancipation processes, where a negotiated cohabitation with their parents clearly appears as a relevant and diverse resource. We have found that what brings more life satisfaction is not residential emancipation per se, but family formation and having children. We propose to reinterpret the cohabitation arrangements between parents and adult children under this prism, as well as to problematize the processes of extension of youth transitions from a gender and family formation perspective.

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