The Use of Innovative Methods with Children from Mixed Parents Living Under Shared Custody Agreements.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 16:30
Oral Presentation
Maryse BAAR, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
This paper will draw attention on the identity construction of children from mixed couples (Unterreiner, 2015) (parents from different ethnical backgrounds) who are living under equal shared custody agreements after the separation of their parents. I will seek to understand how they position themselves in reference to both cultural backgrounds in the context where family socialization takes place in two different households.

Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Belgium with children aged 10 to 13, in the context of the research program “MobileKids: Children in Multi-Local, Post-Separation families” (ERC Starting Grant project under the supervision of Prof. Laura Merla), the paper will focus on innovative and active methods used for an egocentric network analysis: Network map (Hertz, Olivier, 2012) and Socio Spatial Network Game (Schier, 2015). By playing, those methods will allow us to understand the strategies used by the children to navigate between these two households where the norms and values may be different (Winther, 2015) in a multi-local and multi-cultural context.

While transnational families and mixed families have been extensively studied in the recent years (Baldassar, Merla 2014; Fresnoza-Flot, 2017), studies focusing on the experience of children living in post separation mixed families have largely been overlooked up to now.