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An ordinary complexity of care: moving beyond 'the family' in research with children

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For some time, studies of care in personal relationships have managed to move beyond a taken-for-granted focus on the nuclear family. In addition, studies of children and care have shown children's active engagement in doing care. In the project presented here, these two factors have been combined by allowing children to talk about and reflect on their everyday life and caring situation, without preconceived assumptions of in what relationships and under what circumstances care is 'done'. The results reveal that there are significant practices and relationships of care around children outside the nuclear family. I argue that an 'ordinary complexity of care' exists in children's lives, and these caring practices and relationships need to be taken into account in studies and conceptualisations of children and care. To capture this, the researcher must conduct careful methodological and conceptual work to allow the research participants to include 'others' in their telling of their everyday life.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2016-07-01

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