This article examines the dialogic relationship between emotional reflexivity and emotional regime as it explores ‘the hukou puzzle’ in China. In theory, migrants in small- to medium-scale cities can transfer their hukou (household registration) to urban areas, yet are unwilling to do so in practice. Relying on six months’ ethnographic fieldwork and 60 in-depth interviews with ethnic migrant performers, this article argues that previous theorisation of the hukou puzzle neglects emotions and assumes migrants are making rational choices to maximise their profits. In reality, different emotions and feelings inform migrants’ reflexivity regarding an opaque migration regime, which highlights the crucial role of how they exercise their reflexivity in emotional and relational ways. Moreover, a neoliberal emotional regime at the Chinese societal level – which emphasises positive energy, happiness and ‘the China Dream’ – also significantly shapes migrants’ emotional reflexivity. This article points to the need to further explore the intersection between emotional reflexivity and emotional regime in relation to migration.
It is widely acknowledged that to tackle global climate change, meat consumption needs to be reduced substantially, especially in wealthy nations, such as Denmark. A number of studies inspired by theories of practice have investigated various aspects of food practices and meat consumption, including their trajectories and material basis. However, the role of social interactions in organising food practitioners’ performances is still somewhat under-investigated. This article seeks to make up for this by showing some of the ways food practices are contingent on social interactions between practitioners.
The article investigates how the organisation of the performances of food practitioners are produced and reproduced through social interactions with other practitioners and what this means for the role of meat and animal products. This is done through an analysis of data from 27 interviews with young Danes who have reduced or are in the process of reducing their meat consumption and four network focus groups. The analysis shows how procedures, engagements and understandings tied to meat are established and contested through social interactions. This is used to show how differences in arrangements of social encounters provide very different terms for a construction of a mainly plant-based diet as normal. Finally, in the discussion, I argue that arrangements of social encounters can, in a similar way to material arrangements, induce and prefigure certain types of performances, and I discuss the implications of the results for intervention efforts aimed at reducing meat consumption.
In this article, I discuss the development of a child protection system that too often seems to harm rather than help those who are most marginalised, despite countless attempts at reform and reimagining over the decades on the part of so many progressives including feminists. While the focus is mainly on England, many of the developments there are by no means unique, as I will highlight. I focus, especially, on the issues that have emerged in the arena of domestic abuse where those who are often the most harmed are not able to tell not just of the harm, but of what they consider they can do to mitigate it. It can often appear, therefore, that a system has been constructed where abused women are collateral damage in a project that ‘saves’ their children! In this article, I discuss the need for perspectives informed by intersectionality, transformative justice and restorative processes so that we might widen circles of support, voice and accountability.
This article addresses two puzzles that are at the heart of the field of gender divisions of domestic labour. How is it that care concepts seldom appear in a field that is focused on unpaid care work? Why does the field focus on divisions rather than on relationships and relationalities? To address these puzzles, I interrogate some of the conceptual underpinnings in the field’s dominant theories: social exchange and ‘doing gender’. Through a weaving of Margaret Somers’ historical sociology of concept formation and Nancy Fraser’s historical mapping of capitalism, care and social reproduction, I aim to rethink and remake the field of gender divisions of domestic labour through care theories, especially feminist care ethics and care economies research. I argue that care concepts – which highlight relationalities, responsiveness and responsibilities – can radically re-orient how we approach the ‘who’ and ‘what’ questions of this field’s long-standing central focus on ‘who does what?’
In the third millennium, family policies have become the most dynamic part of welfare state policies in developed countries and the forerunners of welfare state development in developing countries. They remain, however, an important dimension of social policy diversification, among both developed and developing countries. Degree and patterns of overall welfare state development, labour market conditions, demographic characteristics, family and gender cultures, political legacies and political cultures – all these factors contribute to shaping which and how family issues are framed as policy-relevant issues. The author addresses some of the research challenges that lie ahead in family policy research, namely: (1) the conceptual and methodological challenges deriving from the enlargement of research, both national and comparative, across an increasingly diversified spectrum of countries; (2) the dual challenge of the diversification of family forms and of international mobility; (3) the interaction between the labour market and family policies and their impact on social class differences; (4) the differential impact of social policies across the social spectrum and diversified family forms; and (5) the multilevel making and governance of family policies and the impact on intra-country differences. According to the author, these challenges are also the consequence of the intersectional character of family policies.
We live in a historic period of heightened and intersecting uncertainties. This article draws on Bauman’s () metaphor of ‘liquid modernity’ to discuss the precariousness of family lives and child and family welfare provision in the context of austerity politics in contemporary England, before going on to consider the implications for research and researchers. Contexts of constant uncertainty have ethical and methodological implications for family research, particularly for studies concerned with services for children and families. When precarisation is an instrument of government, we need approaches to understanding ‘what works’ that are fit for liquid modern times: engaging with the complex contingencies of child and family lives and of the systems and services that they encounter, and actively resisting individualising and deficit-focused narratives in the study of child and family welfare. I focus my reflections on England because it is where I live and work, but the considerations I discuss have relevance for any context where the erosion of welfare provision coincides with growing inequality for children and families.
This article contributes to a reconceptualisation of the boundaries of sociological attention regarding where family is enacted. Despite being aware of the cultural contingency of the distinction that is drawn between the public and private spheres, family scholars in the Global North tend to study families as bounded units with an ‘inside’ and an ‘outside’, and as spatially centred in the home. I argue that there is a need to systematically explore how mundane interactions and activities in public settings are woven into family life. Furthermore, drawing from research into family life in cities, I make the case for conceptualising public spaces as aspects of and even as characters in family life, and ask how people realise their family capacities in these. I propose that keeping these different facets of family life in view both analytically and empirically could lead to a radical shake-up of sociological thinking about family.