Kinship Networks: the Interplay between New Forms of Family, Geographical Mobility, Life Course and Intergenerational Relations

Kinship Networks: the Interplay between New Forms of Family, Geographical Mobility, Life Course and Intergenerational Relations

Verónica de Miguel-Luken (University of Malaga, Spain), Luis Ayuso-Sánchez (University of Malaga, Spain) & Livia García-Faroldi (University of Malaga, Spain)

Family has been traditionally seen as the main focus of social support. However, dynamics of family networks are affected by different socio-demographic factors.

First, family formation patterns have changed in recent times and the diverse models of new families give rise to a variety of models of kin support networks. For instance, children from divorced parents may have access to broader but sparser family knits, while children from single-parent families may be embedded in smaller but denser family networks. Also, family projects and decisions may be influenced by the availability of resources through kinship ties (e.g. decision of having/not having children). 

Second, increased mobility may affect the composition, structure and function of kin networks. For instance, migration may lead to the formation of mixed couples for which extended family networks may be heterogeneous in terms of geographical or ethnic origins, with strong implications for the integration process. Mobility may also change the roles of kin ties, since instrumental help is still highly dependent on spatial proximity. 

Finally, demographic factors such as the life expectancy enlargement or the lower number of siblings also shape the structure and composition of kin networks, affecting the extent and type of support that can be actually exchanged. 

The session will focus on the relation between family formation patterns and sociodemographic tendencies on the one hand and the composition, structure, support functions, or dynamics of kinship networks on the other.

 

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