"When Home Becomes a Workplace: Family Practices in the Context of Home-Based Work"

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Jana MIKATS, University Graz, Austria
The paper examines everyday practices of family life in context of home-based work in the creative industries. It sheds light on the overlap resp. the blurring of boundaries between private life and work and the interrelated space-time arrangements, when the family home becomes the location of both family life and workplace.

For a long time, space has been a marginalized topic in family research and childhood studies and has only recently received intensified attention in the context of multi-locality e.g. migration. So, it can be stated that the mono-local home generally gets little attention and if so it remains a private and "work-free" space. Thus, the paper aims to broaden the perspectives on the home by a practice theoretical approach and examines the temporal, spatial and material aspects of everyday family practices.

The results are based on empirical data of a multi-perspective (parents and children) and qualitative multimethod (interviews, photo elicitations, socio-spatial network games, and observations) fieldwork with Austrian families.

This broad perspective shows how family practices are carried out in the place of single location home/workplace as well as how the spatial arrangements are created in the practices and how they enable and constrain them. The results indicate that home-based work might blur well-established boundaries between work and private life, and makes thus interdependencies more visible. By bringing work “back” into the home, the dualistic construction of work and home as well as career and parenthood, is blurred.

The paper discusses both the empirical approaches and the results.