Making Home : Strategies, Tactics and Daily Practices of Children from Separated Parents, Living in Equal Shared Custody Agreements in Belgium

Monday, 16 July 2018: 18:15
Oral Presentation
Bérengère NOBELS, University of Louvain, Belgium
Since the 1960s, the definition of the family has changed greatly. From the nuclear family, immobile and sedentary, associated with a single place of residence, we move on to a wider and more mobile family associated with different places of residence (Widmer and al., 2008). As part of my doctoral thesis, I am particularly interested in these multilocal families and more specifically in the way in which the children from separated parents, living in equal shared custody agreements, maintain their family relations from one house to the other (Schier and al., 2015). Considering children as social actors (Gullov and al., 2015, James and Prout, 1997), I aim at understanding how they define and construct their 'home' in this context of circular mobility.

My field of research is conducted in Belgium (Brussels and its periphery), among children aged 10 to 13 years. I mobilize with them different visual and participatory methods (photography, drawing) and others coming from social geography (Socio-spatial network game, commented path).

Participating in this session would be an opportunity for me to share some preliminary results about a central dimension of my research project: how these children, for whom their different living spaces are fragmented and multiplied, establish potentially links between them, what represent here, there and the in-between for them, how an “archipélisation” of these different living spaces is created (Duchêne-Lacroix, 2010). I will highlight different strategies, tactics and daily practices that children would develop to deal with these absences and presences and to establish links as well as discontinuities inside these spaces (Schier and al., 2015; Winther, 2015).