This article aims to explore how children are exposed to emotional demands in the transition from kindergarten to school. Psychosocial research and Hochschild’s work provide the underlying theoretical inspiration for the study. Hochschild’s concepts are used to frame the emotional demands children experience in everyday life in kindergarten and school, settings that can be seen as a workplace, albeit for children. Hochschild’s concepts and researchers inspired by her are often referred to when the work-life of adults is being studied, also when exploring stress and burnout at work. My study shows how children react to the emotional demands in their everyday lives in and across kindergarten and school and indicates that the emotion work they perform can sometimes cause emotional dissonance for children, just as it does for adults. The empirical basis for the discussion and conclusions consists of participatory observations conducted with children in the transition from kindergarten to primary school in the context of the Danish welfare state.
This article explores how boredom emerged as a central threat to Americans’ sense of well-being in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing upon media coverage from a range of sources, I ask: What do responses to the COVID-19 pandemic reveal more generally about the way boredom has emerged as one of the central dis-eases of modern life? Why has free time become something that increasingly generates intolerable anxiety? In what ways can studying responses to the COVID-19 lockdown help us trace larger transformations in the social construction and subjective experience of time? The article argues that while many Americans experienced boredom as a form of social death engendered by the deroutinising aspects of lockdown life, responses to the COVID-19 pandemic also reveal the way boredom has emerged as a form of psychic alienation permeating the very core of American society. Drawing upon insights from psychoanalytic theory, I will ultimately propose that our dis-ease with free time may be linked to a growing incapacity to fantasise as more and more of our mental lives are colonised by the digital infrastructures and extractive imperatives of our 24/7 society ().
The authors, whose trainings include as group analytic psychotherapists, use the theoretical framework of group analysis to facilitate experiential small and median groups for students on trainings in individual psychodynamic psychotherapy. Even though in group analytic practice it would usually be a definite no, the authors found themselves debating whether members who revealed they were a couple in the past could in fact be together in a group. This discussion prompted the authors to reflect closely on their co-facilitator relationship, causing them to consider what they understood by ‘couple’.
It offered up an opportunity (previously unconscious) to explore the binary fixing of conductors as male/female and heterosexual, and whether such fixing may be a defence by the group, including the group conductors, against allowing and exploring a more fluid, nuanced exploration of gender and sexuality. The authors propose that instead of small experiential groups, co-conducted median groups may offer a richer opportunity for such exploration.
In England and Wales, domestic homicide reviews (DHRs) seek to build a picture of the circumstances preceding a domestic abuse-related death, identify any learning and make recommendations for change. Drawing on data from document analysis of 60 DHR reports, this article explores how a victim’s real name is routinely taken out of use when a DHR report is published and, to disguise their identity, is usually replaced with a pseudonym or some other nomenclature like initials/letters. I report on the name forms used in place of a victim’s real name and the limited explication of both how (pseudo)names were chosen and the role of the family. By exploring how names are used, I argue for a recognition of the assumptions and complexity at the heart of DHRs concerning the place of the victim, family and state, and identify implications for practice, policy and research.
Relatively few studies have addressed the division of labour during the first pregnancy, a period in which the couple is restructured as a result of its new parental role. This study is aimed at exploring how heterosexual couples residing in Santiago de Chile organise the division of paid, domestic and caregiving work, and what arguments support their choices. A qualitative, cross-sectional and multiple-case methodology was employed. Interviews were held with ten couples during their first pregnancy. A hybrid thematic analysis revealed that the transition to parenthood is marked by the traditionalisation of gender roles, with certain differences related to socioeconomic status being observed. Results are discussed in light of co-responsibility and gender norms in Latin America, while their implications for family dynamics and public policy are presented.
There has been an increase in the number of individuals who do not have children for various reasons, whether health, choice or circumstance, as well as those who have children later in the lifecourse. Concurrently, there is a moral panic surrounding the decreasing birth rate. A thematic analysis of posts on the parenting forum Mumsnet explores the significance of childless/freeness, in the context of wider relationships. We find that established categories of ‘mother’ and ‘childless/free’ are reductive, and are more porous than usually framed. We consider the impact of such categories on women’s friendships, finding that they undermine potential solidarities. Drawing on Scott (), we conceptualise the absence of children as significant, but not necessarily a deficit, highlighting the potential to understand childless/freeness in the everyday.
The number of people living alone is increasing in Finland (; ), in Europe () and globally. Individualisation is growing, and many public institutions are adjusting to the rising number of single clientele. At the same time, the couple norm persists, and monogamous partnering is still often seen as the most appropriate way to organise intimate adult life. In this study, we analysed the written stories of 19 single men aged 29–64 and found that the couple norm was predominant in their stories. Internalisation of the norm caused feelings of inadequacy, a lack of self-appreciation and uncertainty about the future. Many men attributed their singlehood to events in their past and felt a lack of agency at present.
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.