Constituting family: children’s normative expectations and lived experiences of close relationships
Davies, Hayley (2008) Constituting family: children’s normative expectations and lived experiences of close relationships. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b2260325~S15
This thesis is about the meanings that children aged 8-10 years old attribute to family and close relationships. The thesis focuses on how children’s normative expectations about family relate to their lived experiences of family life and relationships. It is based on data from a school-based field study, combining participant observation, interviews, children’s drawings, visits to children’s family homes, and the children’s production of books about their families. The research took place over nineteen months. Its contribution to knowledge lies in a new theoretical framework, combining insights from family and childhood sociology, for the purpose of examining children’s constitution of family. The thesis demonstrates that children conceive of family as a meaningful and highly valued set of relationships, challenging the notion that the concept of ‘family’ has lost its sociological and analytical significance. This thesis illustrates that children consider the family as those people with whom they feel a sense of belonging; a feeling that was achieved across a range of family forms. This conceptualisation of belonging departs from traditional conceptualisations in encompassing face-to-face contact as an important element of belonging to a family. The thesis concludes that an emphasis on children feeling part of a family is more productive than the present policy focus on maintaining nuclear family forms. Particular attention is given to how children identify visible forms of relatedness, through surname, cohabitation and through family members ‘displaying’ family-like relationships and family photographs.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Interpersonal relations in children, Families -- Research -- Great Britain, Family demography, Children -- Social networks, Child psychology|
|Official Date:||December 2008|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Sociology|
|Supervisor(s)/Advisor:||Bradby, Hannah, 1966- ; Christensen, Pia Monrad|
|Sponsors:||Economics and Social Research Council (Great Britain) (ESRC)|
|Extent:||354 leaves : ill.|
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