In today’s globalised society, dominated by risk and uncertainty, all social forms, including the family, are subject to continual change. Transitional phases are particularly affected as to how and when changes occur. Moreover, in the individualistic climate typical of postmodern society, transitions are increasingly represented and experienced as individual occurrences whose timing and mode are barely defined; they are hardly ritualised and offer a wide range of options.
From a sociological perspective, transitions have long been a central concern in international family studies. The family, however, is a social and cultural structure that cannot be invented by individuals. An individualistic conception of the family cannot identify or define any transition, since transitions are actually experienced by people as relational conditions and processes: they emerge from mutually interacting causal factors creating stressful relationships of variable intensity and duration. The relational approach needed to study transitions requires new analysis and intervention models.
To capture the family’s relational essence and the familial dimension of transitions appears quite daunting, whilst following the vicissitudes of individuals is definitely simpler. However, only by seeing the family it is possible to imagine any support interventions to positively affect personal welfare in postmodern society.
All the transitions experienced by the family may either point to a difficulty in coping with change, or represent valuable opportunities to transform relationships. When a transition occurs, the family finds itself at a crossroads: it can either re-organise its relationships in response to the challenges of a given transition or let them degenerate. Hence, in the process of coping with the difficulties brought about by critical events in the family’s life cycle and social context, families may access both internal and external resources.
In fact, families are always in transition, as they are involved in the economic, social and cultural events of their time.
This Special Issue focuses on the dynamics and context of key family transitions (or families in transition), such as the transitions to married life, parenthood, adolescence, adulthood, and old age. It also highlights major contextual events affecting family life: political changes and family development, cultural changes and family structure, financial hardship, welfare state changes; intra- and inter-generational processes that explain family transitions; finally, strategies and approaches supporting family transitions and families in transition at the political, social, and relational level.
The volume collects a number of empirical studies falling into in two broad categories: studies analysing family transitions and studies on families in transition.
|Editore||MOUNT ROYAL UNIVERSITY|
|Numero di pagine||171|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Pubblicato - 2014|
|Nome||JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE FAMILY STUDIES|
- FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS