Troubling normalities and normal family troubles: diversities, experiences and tensions

Ribbens McCarthy, Jane; Hooper, Carol-Ann and Gillies, Val (2013). Troubling normalities and normal family troubles: diversities, experiences and tensions. In: Ribbens McCarthy, Jane; Hooper, Carol-Ann and Gillies, Val eds. Family Troubles? Exploring Changes and Challenges in the Family Lives of Children and Young People. Bristol: The Policy Press, (In Press).

Abstract

In this opening chapter, we set out some of the underlying assumptions and tensions behind our 'family troubles' project. While we continue to draw on the language of troubles from which our project started, we are very aware of the developing political associations, even as we seek to carve out a particular space for careful reflection and critical engagement. The goal of our project on family troubles is not to ‘other’ the troubled however defined, but to invite debate and to explore how the normal and the troubling are perceived, experienced, and presented by different actors in different contexts, whose definition of trouble prevails in particular contexts, where responsibility is located for particular troubles, with what consequences and so on.
In this opening chapter, we set out some of the debates invoked by these contentious and complex issues, and begin to consider what theoretical and conceptual frameworks are available to help us to think about these questions.

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