Thinking Through Family

Narratives of Care Experienced Lives

Drawing from longitudinal research, this book shows how the perspectives of people who have been in care can help us redefine the concept of family. Through a narrative analysis of the complexity of family lives, the author challenges the idea that some families are ‘ordinary’, while others are troubled, problematic and ‘other’.

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Understanding what ‘family’ means – and how best to support families – depends on challenging politicised assumptions that frame ‘ordinary’ families in comparison to an imagined problematic ‘other’.

Learning from the perspectives of people who were in care in childhood, this innovative book helps redefine the concept of family. Linking two longitudinal studies involving young adults in England, it reveals important new insights into the diverse and dynamic complexity of family lives, identities and practices in time – through childhood and beyond.

Paving the way for future policy and practice, this book makes an important contribution to the theorisation of family in the 21st century.

Janet Boddy is Professor of Child, Youth and Family Studies at the University of Sussex and Adjunct Professor in the Childhood, Family and Welfare Division of NOVA at Oslo Metropolitan University.

Fidelma Hanrahan is Senior Research Officer at Research in Practice.

Bella Wheeler is Research Associate in the Methodologies Division in the Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery and Palliative Care at King’s College London.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.