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Session Overview
RN13_10b: Parent-child relations, mothering and fathering practices V
Friday, 23/Aug/2019:
2:00pm - 3:30pm

Session Chair: Pedro Romero-Balsas, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
Session Chair: Kinga Dóra Szabó-Tóth, University of Miskolc
Location: UP.2.219
University of Manchester Building: University Place, Second Floor Oxford Road

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Researching Family Practices and its Generational and Gendered Dimensions with a Qualitative Multi-Method Design – Methodological Considerations.

Jana Mikats

University of Graz, Austria

Scholarly discussions and concepts in family research have shifted since the so-called “practice turn” (Schatzki et al. 2001) to the everyday life and the understanding of families as a quality or practice (Daly 2003, Morgan 1998). Although this approach has opened the perspective on overlaps with gendered and generational practices (Morgan 2011), scholars have not adequately interrelated family practices to childhood or gender studies (Helfferich 2017, Honig 2018). My project aims to examine family life from a broader perspective in order to acknowledge its generational and gendered dimensions. In this paper, I am going to firstly give insight on how these various aspects of family practices can be examined by a multi-method design and secondly point out the benefits and limitations of these approaches.

The contribution draws on a fieldwork that I conducted with ten families (38 family members including 14 children, aged 4- 10) in Austria from March 2018 to February 2019. For data gathering, I applied a variety of qualitative methods and techniques: problem-centered interviews, auto-photography, socio-spatial network game and the observation of daily routines (shadowing).

This multi-method design meets the different perspectives and needs of the involved participants. Furthermore, it allows capturing various aspect of everyday family life and the conceptual focus on family practices (and not solely on specific family members). However, the access to and the research of family life was a gendered process and partially controlled by adults (e.g. willingness and degree of participation). This consequently reflects in the data and must be under consideration in further research processes.

The Social Meaning of Time in Family with Children: The Case of Russian Large Families

Mariia Goleva

Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University, Russian Federation

The research represents an attempt to expand the dominant logic of time interpretation in family studies. In the majority of studies time is defined as a resource and a universal unit of measurement, as each action could be estimated in days or hours. [Becker 1965; Gershuni 2000; Barker 1999; Schultz 1986]. However, by analogy with the works of V. Zelizer on social meanings of money [Zelizer 2002; 2004], we can talk about the "multiplicity" of social time. Moreover, such interpretation presents in several sociological and anthropological studies in which numerous kinds of time were described [Bryson 2011; Adam 1990].

In this work types of time, their contents and social meanings in family were considered on the example of large families: 17 in-depth interviews with parents who have many children were analyzed. The choice of parents with three and more children as an object of the research was determined by an assumption that time-related issues faced by all families with children appear brighter in large families. The interviews were conducted in Moscow, Vladimir and Arkhangelsk in 2016.

As the result of the research, several meanings of time were identified: institutional time, gender (male and female) time, interpersonal (time for yourself; parental time; family time; children's individual time), ethical time and a separate category “discourse of time” (it shows what informants say about time, mostly about their strategies of coping with unpredictability). Such view on intra-family processes contributes to a better understanding of the complex reality of family life.

In The Name Of The Father: Patrilineal First Names Transmission During The First World War

Baptiste Coulmont1,2, Nicolas Todd3,4

1Université Paris 8, France; 2CRESPPA, CNRS, France; 3Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany; 4Centre Roland Mousnier, Sorbonne Université, France

The choice of first names is known to depend on family structure. The transmission of names from one generation to the next is higher in high density families, and on the contrary the choice of new names is linked to higher individualism. In the context of social disruption, first names can also inform on individual attitudes toward events. The First World War was a time of high family disorganization in France, characterized by the unexpected and hasty separation of couples followed by extreme uncertainty on male partner's survival.

Based on a genealogical dataset of 5,4 million records for individuals born from 1905 until 1925, we investigated the rate of patrilineal first name transmission during the conflict. We found that during the first year of the War the rate of patrilineal transmission nearly doubled for both male and female offsprings.

Our exploratory analysis further suggests that this perturbation of the rate of transmission (1) occurred as soon as the future fathers left for combat, but before the first military engagements, (2) is correlated to the level of risk experienced by the father (higher for infantry compared to artillery, lower when the father was too old to be mobilized in a fighting unit), (3) is highest when the father died before the birth of his child, (4) is higher in areas where the war strongly impacted daily life (near the front line).

A higher transmission appears then to be a reaction to unanticipated large-scale social perturbations and a reaction to localized family disruption.

Polish Fathers on Parental Leave. Motivations and Experiences

Katarzyna Suwada

Nicolaus Copernicus University, Poland

The aim of this paper is to analyse the experiences of Polish fathers who decided to take at least two months of parental leave. In Poland the system of parental leaves is oriented on mothers. Only in 2013 gender-neutral parental leave was introduced. It is 32 weeks long and can be used after using 20 weeks of maternity leave. Yet the policy-makers did not decide to introduce any mechanism, for example “father’s quota”, enhancing men to actually take the leave. Consequently in 2016 only 1% of leave recipients were men.

In this paper I concentrate on experiences of fathers who decide to take at least two months of parental leave and their partners. Their motivations and everyday life arrangements are described in the context of broader attitudes of Polish parents to an idea of gender-neutral parental leave and father’s quota. My analysis is based on 52 interviews conducted with Polish parents with different social and economic backgrounds. Interviews were conducted in 2017 and concentrated on work-life balance strategies, yet some questions concern the issue of men’s taking parental leave. There are 12 interviews conducted with fathers who were on the leave and their partners.

The analysis shows that experiences of these men are highly positive, even though they need to struggle sometimes with negative comments from others, especially their employers or co-workers. They are still exceptions in a society, which generally do not understand the idea of fathers taking longer parental leave and perceive care work as women's obligations.

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