Appel à chapitres – Reinventing ‘the family’ in uncertain times: education, policy and social justice (31.01.2021)

Reinventing ‘the family’ in uncertain times: education, policy and social justice. Editors: Prof. Marie-Pierre Moreau, Dr Catherine Lee and Dr Cynthia Okpokiri, Anglia Ruskin University, UK.

The Covid-19 pandemic, resurgence of social movements, tensions between the conservative, far-right politics, socialist principles, and neoliberal ideologies have converged to create an unprecedented situation, characterised by acute changes and uncertainties. Set against this context, this edited volume is concerned with the reproduction and transformation of family norms in contemporary times. It is underpinned by two main ambitions. First, we wish to document and question what ‘counts’ as a family in contemporary times. What families are rendered in/visible and mis/recognised and how are these processes of in/visibility and mis/recognition framed by the discourses of power which operate in various institutional and geographical contexts? Second, we want to explore how family forms are changing in the current climate of uncertainties and profound socio-economic, cultural and political shifts. 

We call for contributions which critically explore the following themes: 

  • Family forms:  the diversity of family formations and what makes a family in contemporary times, including work concerned with non-traditional, non-heteronormative, non-Eurocentric definitions of the family, such as single-parent families, one-person families, childless families, families with animal companions, LGBTQ families, families across the Global South, extended families, mixed heritage families, transnational families, step families, blended families and families of ‘choice’. 
  • Power relationships: how power relationships linked to gender, class, ethnicity, sexuality, faith,dis/ability and other in/equalities intersect and or operate in defining what counts as a family. 
  • Family narratives: how individuals and groups negotiate discourses of the family and their implications with regards to power relationships, including how activists and minority and majority groups reproduce or challenge family norms and work towards the promotion of alternative definitions of the family. 
  • Systemic influences on family: contemporary disruptions to prevailing family norms, including the shift in private/public boundaries and the use and impact of traditional and social media on family dynamics. 
  • Family practices: how mundane, everyday activities of family life sustain or negate individual and collective subjectivities. 

While we anticipate that the volume will be sociologically informed, we welcome work informed by a broad range of conceptual and methodological approaches, including ethnographies, autoethnographies, case studies, empirical studies, policy analysis and discussion pieces.  

A range of focuses are expected, with all contributions brought together through: 
1) a shared critical stance towards normative constructions of the family
2) a key concern for diversity, equity and intersectionality.  

We welcome work that concentrates on what happens within the family as well as work concerned with what local, organisational, national, international and transnational policies and discourses ‘do’ to families. We encourage the submission of work documenting and exploring family discourses in multiple fields, including, for example, education, paid and unpaid work, social work and social policy. 

Scholars at various stages of their career and from various parts of the world are welcome, particularly First Nations communities and those in the Global South.  

We have approached Bloomsbury who have expressed an interest in this project. We are now in the process of identifying contributors, before submitting a proposal by Spring 2021. If the proposal is successful, we will expect to receive the draft chapters from contributors by Autumn 2021, with the book published in 2022.  

If you are interested, please do send a 250-word abstract, by 31 January 2021, to marie-pierre.moreau@aru.ac.uk

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