Chiara Bertone, Caterina Satta

Overcoming family boundaries Practicing the family practices approach

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Keywords: family practices, David H. Morgan, sociology of families, everyday, family boundaries.

David H. Morgan’s family practices approach represented a turning point in studies on family relations in the 1990s, whose international impact is explored in the special issue through contributions from Italy and other South European countries. In this introduction we relate his proposal to keep the notion of family at the centre of sociological inquiry – while redefining its conceptualization – to a wider debate, on whether this very notion can still be relevant in understanding contemporary relationships. We then explore how the heuristic potential of the family practices approach has been taken up and developed in research, particularly in relation to centring on the everyday and on the subjects’ own perspectives. Finally, we discuss the conditions under which this heuristic potential can unfold, we describe how it has been used in the articles of this special issue, and we point to missing voices and directions of interpretation

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