Post-Individualisation and Family Conflicts in Contemporary Societies
On a global scale we observe a revival of families. While family and kinship networks had always been an important resource for security, wealth and welfare in developing nations, this is also increasingly the case in developed nations. Although individualisation had been driving modernisation in contemporary societies, family reliance has a revival especially in the context of the current economic climate and austerity politics. For example, public spending cuts on welfare mean that families have to step in for the state. Social change is fuelling reliance on family support and asset transfers over generations regarding the costs of education, first home purchase or long-term care needs. At the same time, families are becoming more complex. Compared to the family/intergenerational solidarity thesis, however, there is a gap in knowledge and understanding of the sociology of intergenerational conflicts. Greater reliance on family support, transfers and exchanges could indeed cause or accentuate conflicts, stress and dissatisfaction between family members.
This session welcomes papers that address re-familialisation from a micro perspective on family conflicts. We invite both theoretical and empirical contributions on this topic, exploring case studies, comparative approaches and methodological diversity. We welcome contributions that explore family conflicts around particular types of support (housing, education, care); relationships (step/complex families); or cross national boundaries (remittances). Methodological innovation is also welcome. For example, intergenerational interviews and surveys tend to emphasise solidarity, while conflicts are more likely to be observed in court cases and (social) media.