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Children in Motion: Everyday Life Across Two Homes

Chapter in book
Authors Rakel Berman
Published in Families in Motion: Ebbing and Flowing Through Space and Time
Pages 195-213
ISBN 9781787694163
Publisher Emerald Publishing Limited
Place of publication Bingley
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Social Work
Pages 195-213
Language en
Keywords Children; dual residence; family change; children’s mobility; family practices; emotion
Subject categories Social Work, Social Psychology, Sociology

Abstract

Once a week, almost one in ten Swedish children moves between two homes, replacing the routines and practices of one household with those of another. They are children in dual residence arrangements, dividing their time equally between two households after parental separation. Being on the move physically, as well as emotionally and relationally, is a part of their everyday lives. In this chapter, the author addresses children’s perspectives on living their everyday lives in two households and belonging to two homes and how they make sense of regularly shifting between different locations and (perhaps) contrasting family practices, rules and routines. Children’s accounts reveal how moving becomes a routine everyday practice, yet the regular change is perceived differently by different children. While highly valued by some, others find it difficult to handle the emotional stress of constantly leaving one parent behind, or the practical juggling of packing and moving. In the children’s accounts, they reveal how they take part in shaping their dual family lives, post-separation. The chapter draws on qualitative interviews with 20 children and young people living in dual residence arrangements. By using family practices as the analytical focus when analysing children’s accounts, the aim is to understand how everyday life is shaped by mobility. It is argued that the practices associated with dual residence are deeply embedded in physical, emotional and relational dimensions of mobility.

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