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Changing Meanings of Family in Personal Relationships: A Comparative Perspective

  • Karin Wall
  • Rita Gouveia
  • Gaëlle Aeby
  • Vida Česnuitytė
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life book series (PSFL)

Abstract

Family relationships in late modernity are considered to be embedded in wider processes of closeness and commitment, which go beyond blood and alliance principles. The aim of this chapter is to identify who is perceived as family in personal relationships and to examine the overlap between personal configurations and family networks. Despite some blurring of ties, findings show that there continue to be fairly clear boundaries between kin and non-kin ties in the predominant meanings of family. The salience of close kin ties emerges in all three countries, as well as the focus on long-lasting friendship; but there are country-specific aspects with regard to the categories and number of ties imbued with family meaning, the degree of overlap, and the types of family network.

Keywords

Family Family meanings Family networks Overlap Kin ties Non-kinties Comparative analysis Portugal Switzerland Lithuania 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors of the chapter wish to acknowledge sponsors that made it possible to carry out this investigation, the results of which are presented in the chapter. In Switzerland, the research was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES Overcoming Vulnerability: Life-Course Perspectives. In Portugal, the research was carried out within the national survey, “Family Trajectories and Social Networks”, coordinated by Professor K. Wall from the Institute of Social Sciences (ICS) from the University of Lisbon. In Lithuania, the research was carried out based on data collected within the research project, “Trajectories of Family Models and Personal Networks: Intergenerational Perspective”, coordinated by Professor V. Kanopiené from Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania) and funded by the Research Council of Lithuania.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karin Wall
    • 1
  • Rita Gouveia
    • 1
  • Gaëlle Aeby
    • 2
  • Vida Česnuitytė
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Social Sciences (ICS)University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  2. 2.Life Course and Inequality Research CentreUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Sociological Research LaboratoryMykolas Romeris UniversityVilniusLithuania

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