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This paper reflects on a pilot study exploring the loneliness experiences of stroke survivors living in remote rural communities in Scotland. Empirical evidence gathered at the time of establishing this study demonstrated that there were no studies published around the subjective experiences of stroke survivors living alone in remote rural Scottish communities. Yet, stroke survivors in rural settings in other parts of the world report a longing for social contact as well as the experience of a reduction in participation in shared activities, suggestive of potential loneliness and isolation. This paper focuses on our experience interviewing one participant recruited in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the pandemic, the study had to be terminated, but we were left with data gathered from this one conversation which revealed a rich narrative centred around past and present occupations. At no point was there any sense of loneliness expressed, despite the context within which this participant lived: alone, in a remote community, experiencing a degree of communication difficulties and unable to leave the house independently. All commonly hallmark ‘warning signs’ of a person at risk of loneliness. In this reflection we offer perspectives on assumptions and expectations of loneliness that are problematically constructed by the dominant narratives and theories at the time.

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Family life is permanently and irrevocably changed by death, requiring those bereaved to adopt new ways of ‘doing’ family. Drawing on data from a qualitative study of sibling bereavement experiences, this article demonstrates that death can retain a powerful presence for the living, shaping the way that family members relate to one another. It is argued that bereavement can influence the establishment, and enactment, of family practices, thus highlighting that family practices can be subtly couched in the context of bereavement. This article expands Morgan’s concept of family practices in a direction that has yet to be explored. It will conclude that sociologists can learn more about the dynamic intricacies of family life by recognising the potential influence of death and bereavement on the way that relationships are navigated and negotiated over time.

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Predictive analytics is seen as a way of identifying the risk of future problems in families. Integral to such automated predictive analysis is a shift in time frames that redraws the relationship between families and the state, to potentially intervene on an anticipatory basis of ‘what hasn’t happened but might’. In the process, human subjects are reformulated as disembodied objects of data-driven futures. The article explains this process and fills a significant gap in knowledge about parents’ views of this development. We draw on group and individual discussions with parents across Great Britain to consider their understanding of predictive analytics and how comfortable they are with it. Parents’ concerns focused on inaccuracies in the data used for prediction, the unfair risk of false positives and false negatives, the deterministic implications of the past predicting the future, and the disturbing potential of being positioned in what was a pre-problem space. We conclude with policy implications.

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This chapter summarises the material of the book. It revisits some of its core theoretical themes, suggesting that there are openings within the fissures presented by rentier capitalism’s corrosion of community, and its densification of everyday life within dwindling space. The author argues that these openings incorporate alternative strategies of social reproduction that signal a ‘will to become’: a desire for generational reconfiguration borne from the erosion of ‘secure’ pathways to traditional kinship structures.

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This chapter looks at the ways that affective politics circulate within precarious rental accommodation, amidst constricted desires and difficulties in holding boundaries. Moving from a discussion of sexual constriction to feelings of ‘displaced sovereignty’ among respondents who are mistreated by, yet defend, controlling landlord behaviour, the chapter makes connections between capital’s constriction of embodied agency and the suppression of political subjectivity. In the second part of the chapter, the author explores the efforts of queer collective households to realign their homes with desire for social and political transformation, and the tensions and challenges experienced along the way.

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This chapter sets out the substantive content of the book and its broad themes of generational inequality, housing unaffordability and intimate relationships. The chapter includes an account of the author’s personal housing experiences and an overview of their critique of the nuclear family. The author connects the generational disjunctures posed by housing inequality to the diminishing political purchase of the home-owning family, identifying the precarious intimacies of the rented sector as fertile ground for exploring this historical moment in the history of capitalism. There is also a discussion of methods.

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This chapter explores the immaterial, affective and invisibilised labour that renting respondents carried out to replenish their relationships. It first focuses on the affective labour carried out by some social housing residents affected by intergenerational histories of racial capitalism – something the author terms ‘cumulative precarity’. The chapter goes on to explore the precarious relational labour involved in creating a sense of belonging in transient, privately rented homes, looking at relationships to home improvement and outdoor space.

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