CFP: Who Cares? Narratives on Families in Europe, a collective volume edited by Adriana Zaharijević, Anca Dohotariu and Joanna Wawrzyniak
What is family today? Although seemingly self-evident, this question has the power to stir fierce debates – more often political than academic ones. These debates indicate something significant happening in the way we talk and think about family. Who Cares? Narratives on Families in Europe seeks to analyze narratives framing family life in Europe, paying particular attention to narratives that emphasize the importance of returning to a by-gone ideal of family – narratives of return.
Starting from an ostensibly essentialist question – what is family – this volume will demonstrate that no essentialist, one and simple definition of family is possible, without detrimental consequences on the liberties of all who comprise it. Contemporary families lead complex lives and they are constantly negotiating social, political, economic and institutional settings, which are integral to what families are. As such, they put in question the notion of the family proper. Thus the driving force behind this volume is to answer the question: how is it possible to care for families in Europe without denigrating the current diversity of family life? The specific objectives of this volume are to a) map the competing narratives on families both in the specific country cases, and in the pan-European space; b) to discern the normative framing of the conservative narratives of return and describe the collective memories and mythicized historic time(s) to which the narratives of return aspire. The general aim of the volume is to offer a collective answer to the question what it means to care for the family, if family is understood as a dynamic, mutable entity whose structure, social meanings and political role proves dependent on larger processes.
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