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Family Kindship and Place in France

Collection : Coéditions


Preface to English Edition i

Foreword iii

Introduction 1

- Chapter One

  • Presentation of the Research - p5

- Chapter Two

  • The family circle: spatial Proximity and Personal Affinity - p27

- Chapter Three

  • Family Geographies, Migrations and Generations - p69

- Chapter Four

  • Lodging with Family or Friends - p135

- Chapter Five

  • Work, Home and Family: An analysis of several residential configurationsof persons with independent occupations - p181

- Chapter Six

  • A Textual Analysis of the Interviews of the Proches et Parents Survey: The relative importance of family, residential and occupational issues in the respondents’discourse - p203

Conclusion - p235

Bibliography - p241


During the twentieth century, French families have undergone major transformations. Today, most generations live separately from each other, even though in rural areas where intergenerational cohabitation is more common there still exist traces of the past. Households and families are now mostly one and the same thing.

This new multi-disciplinary study explores the dynamics of resulting French families. It show the persistence of family ties, where four in ten adults have strong links with other family members and contact with at least one every week. More than half live within the same commune as another family member. When a person is in urgent need of accommodation, eight in ten times it is the family that helps out.

Detailed analysis of the data reveals a ‘local family circle’ in which individuals are no longer primarily pre-defi ned by their family role relation, but can be seen to negotiate and form relationships within wider social networks extending beyond the family. This process takes place in the context of new social mobilities, involving space, distance and proximity. The analyses show how space, including the occupational and career dimensions of social life, is inextricably linked with family and other social relations which have been ‘chosen’ by individuals to be important. Space and mobility are integral to the construction of social ties; while it is the family which defines the components of social spaces and creates the settings for future generations.

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