CFP: “Family as a safe haven? Families in social practice and narratives in times of crises”

We are delighted to share the call for the special issue of Slovak Ethnology/Slovenský národopis, volume 72, number 3/2024, on the topic “Family as a safe haven? Families in social practice and narratives in times of crises” edited by Adriana Zaharijević (University of Belgrade, Serbia) and Soňa G. Lutherová (Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia)


In uncertain times, as individuals and societies, we attempt to make sense of crises. Living in a risk society (Beck, 1986), we are searching for stability, trying to understand what constitutes threats and for whom (Adam & Jost, 2004). Often, we turn to our families as the anchor in the tempestuous times, as it provides us with ties to the past but also with a promise of the future. Home and its idealized notions of intimacy and security are at the centre of family life (Clarke, 2001). However, uncertain times may introduce particular tensions to the family lives or enhance those that are already present. How do we experience our family lives during crisis? What is the role of the family in our everyday practices when coping with uncertainties? How do we reflect on this narratively?

Today, the narratives on families abound, and various actors feed on our tendency to turn to family in times of crisis. Family is at the centre stage of many far-right political movements, which forcefully push for a particular “natural” order of things. Hence, narratives on families clash in the fluster of meanings and perspectives, and the gap between social practices and public discourse widens. How does the crises-induced narrativization of families restrict the lived forms of familial life? How are individuals affected by the political attempts to reduce the family to a single legitimate form? How does such politicization of family further the crisis through polarizations, erasures, and devaluations of everyday practices deemed “unnatural”?

This special issue of Slovak Ethnology invites authors to contribute to the topic by addressing various aspects of this interrelation, such as:

  • Everyday practices and experiences in the families during the uncertain times;
  • Tensions and changing dynamics in the family relationships from the perspective of social sciences and humanities;
  • Changing intergenerational relationships and their role in families;
  • Individual and social narratives on families – between the discourse and practice;
  • Politicization of the family lives.

Practical information

Contributors are kindly requested to submit their abstracts and keywords directly through the editorial system of Slovak Ethnology no later than 29 February 2024. The final manuscripts will be expected no later than 15 May 2024 through the same editorial system. They should not exceed 6,250 words or 45,000 characters, including spaces, notes, and references, and should follow the journal’s guidelines for authors accessible HERE.