A Reflexive Analysis on the Use of Social Spatial Network Games (SSNG) and Pictures for Institutional Ethnography: The Case of Children Living Under Shared Custody Agreements.

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Sarah MURRU, University of Louvain - CIRFASE (Interdisciplinary Research Center on Families and Sexualities), Belgium
This paper presents the mobilization of two specific methods inside an IE about MobileKids: Children in Multi-Local, Post-Separation Families (ERC Starting Grant project – supervision: Prof. Laura Merla). The aim of this ongoing study is to grasp the standpoint of children living under equal shared custody agreements - particularly as children’s own accounts and experiences of contemporary changes have largely been overlooked up to now. Considering children as active social actors that can, to various extents, exercise agency and influence on their own lives as well as on the lives of the people surrounding them, I look at the process of moving from one house to the other every week and ask how children maneuver inside this mobility.The specificity of this project lies in the parallelization between the analysis of the textual material present in the work that is done to move from one place of residence to the other, with an explicit production of texts by the children. To grasp their standpoint, I develop a sequential set of activities that represent creative ways to open their narratives about their everyday lives: (1) A session with Social Spatial Network Games (SSNG) – a kind of board game where children can concretely construct their experience of their multi-local everyday life; (2) children are asked to take pictures during the action of moving from one house to the other and we go over the meaning behind them; (3) I participate in the double move – from one parent’s house to the other’s, and back.In this paper, I shall reflexively and critically address the use of SSNG and pictures, which represent texts of a particular nature: they hold discursive meaning about the children’s standpoint yet are not initially present in their everyday lives, as they are a production of the research design.