Multigenerational Households in Italy. How Demographic Changes and Economic Crises Are Affecting Individual Trajectories and Family Forms

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 13:00
Oral Presentation
Patrizio LODETTI, university of milan, Italy
This work aim to understand how significant demographic changes and the economic crisis have affected generational interdependence, family structures and solidarity networks in Italy. It takes in consideration major changes in family living arrangements, focusing on the multi-generational household types, both from a structural and a relational perspective.

Specifically, the subject of my research are reconstructed households where young adults moved back to parental home as consequence of vulnerabilities, mainly entailed by economic crises and conjugal instability.

Avoiding a straight bourdesian positioning, I’m intending families in terms of practical kinship: as a field of relationships that are constantly used and reinforced in everyday practices and exchanges. Individual trajectories can play a big role, not just for shifting relative power of each member, but also impacting the family field as a whole, such as death, separation, re-partnering and reconstitution. Generational gap can produce conflicts of different kind. Multigenerational households resulting from a reconstruction, can be understood as a privileged field to observe negotiation processes and ambivalences of members living together while coping stressful situation of vulnerabilities.

What I propose is a mixed-method designs. Quantitative methods are used to understand the changes in family structures and define the most effective factors affecting the choice of returning parental homes. Qualitative methods are used to understand relational specificity of members involved in the management of multigenerational family field, focusing on challenges and ambivalences

My analyses are intended to take a longitudinal perspective, confronting changes attributable to economic crises of 2008. I’m using the ISTAT Multipurpose survey on households. It is a repeated cross-sectional survey which provide detailed longitudinal data on daily life of individuals and families. I’m going to present results elaborated from descriptive analysis and regression models. Results of the qualitative inquiry will not be included in the eventual discussion.