This Special Section on Troubling Families builds on a history of dialogue and developing work, originating with a Colloquium held in London in 2010 which centered on the notion of ‘Family Troubles?’, drawing on themes of changes and challenges in family lives – originally, of children in particular The focus on ‘troubles’ seems to have opened up a welcome and meaningful space in family sociology and family (and childhood) studies more generally, enabling new (sometimes very difficult) questions to be asked and new theoretical threads to be followed across disparate topics and debates.
This ongoing project has thus asked whether, or how far, difficult or painful events constitute a general feature of family lives, how troubled1 and troubling families perhaps normalise their lives, and when ‘changes’ and ‘troubles’ may be considered to become ‘harm’, and by whom? And how do ‘family’ discourses and practices, along with idealizations of ‘childhood’, recreate and feed into such divisions and dilemmas? From the outset, the work has sought to create a dialogue between researchers addressing mainstream family change and diversity in everyday lives and those focusing on particular problems which prompt specialist interventions.
Jane Ribbens McCarthy, Val Gilles, Carol-Ann Hooper
First Published March 26, 2018
Sociological Research Onlinel