Title

Illuminating Family Practices: Methods and Challenges

Location

Rock Island

Start Time

16-10-2014 1:30 PM

End Time

16-10-2014 4:30 PM

Session Type

Panel

Abstract

Studying families has been of interest to scholars in many disciplines. The focus of these scholarly pursuits has most often been on “the family” rather than the process of “doing family,” or family practices (DeVault, 2000; Morgan, 2011). Family practices involve action, have temporal and spatial dimensions, and are shaped by larger social structures and discourses. Studying family practices has global societal implications. Understanding what families do, the taken-for-granted ways things are done, are considered in the development of policies, such as school readiness and family leave. However, within occupational science, the study of family practices has been surprisingly limited in scope and method. To broaden the conversation on family practices, this institute will address issues in the interdisciplinary field of family studies, from how families are conceptualized to how activity and practices are addressed. Next, how family occupation has been addressed in occupational science will be reviewed. The focus of the institute, however, will be on methods that illuminate family occupation as transactional, methods that take into account family practices within local and broader social landscapes and public discourses. The value of utilizing multiple methods, such as participant observation, visual methods, and discourse analysis, to uncover hidden processes that may otherwise be missed (Fontana & Frey, 2003) will be emphasized. Challenges to conducting research on occupation with diverse families will be discussed, including conducting research in private and public spaces, the family as a unit of analysis, and obtaining and making sense of multiple perspectives.

Key Words: family, practices, methodology

References

Daley, K. J. (2007). Family studies and human development. Sage: Los Angeles.

DeVault, M. (2000). Producing family time: Practices of leisure activity beyond the home. Qualitative Sociology, 23(4), 485-503.

Fontana, A., & Frey, J. (2003). The interview: from structured questions to negotiated text. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials (2nd ed., pp. 61-106). London: Sage Publications.

Morgan, D.H.J. (2011). Rethinking family practices. Palgrave Macmillan: London, UK.

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Oct 16th, 1:30 PM Oct 16th, 4:30 PM

Illuminating Family Practices: Methods and Challenges

Rock Island

Studying families has been of interest to scholars in many disciplines. The focus of these scholarly pursuits has most often been on “the family” rather than the process of “doing family,” or family practices (DeVault, 2000; Morgan, 2011). Family practices involve action, have temporal and spatial dimensions, and are shaped by larger social structures and discourses. Studying family practices has global societal implications. Understanding what families do, the taken-for-granted ways things are done, are considered in the development of policies, such as school readiness and family leave. However, within occupational science, the study of family practices has been surprisingly limited in scope and method. To broaden the conversation on family practices, this institute will address issues in the interdisciplinary field of family studies, from how families are conceptualized to how activity and practices are addressed. Next, how family occupation has been addressed in occupational science will be reviewed. The focus of the institute, however, will be on methods that illuminate family occupation as transactional, methods that take into account family practices within local and broader social landscapes and public discourses. The value of utilizing multiple methods, such as participant observation, visual methods, and discourse analysis, to uncover hidden processes that may otherwise be missed (Fontana & Frey, 2003) will be emphasized. Challenges to conducting research on occupation with diverse families will be discussed, including conducting research in private and public spaces, the family as a unit of analysis, and obtaining and making sense of multiple perspectives.

Key Words: family, practices, methodology