Book chapter

The configurational approach to families: methodological suggestions

ContributorsWidmer, Ericorcid
Published inThe Palgrave Handbook of Family Sociology in Europe, Editors Anna-Maija Castrén; Vida Česnuitytė; Isabella Crespi; Jacques-Antoine Gauthier; Rita Gouveia; Claude Martin; Almudena Moreno Mínguez; Katarzyna Suwada, p. 107-131
PublisherCham : Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date2021

This chapter provides insights into addressing empirical research on families as configurations in which neither the family’s boundaries nor the set of roles under consideration is taken for granted (Jallinoja and Widmer 2008). From this perspective, families are analysed as large networks of interdependencies that extend well beyond households or the roles and statuses associated with the nuclear family. The following pages contain some methodological suggestions that can be applied to advance the understanding of family configurations. The importance of using dilemmas to uncovering the logics behind family identification and functional interdependences among family members is emphasised.

  • Families as configurations
  • Family
  • Networks of interdependencies
  • Households
  • Methodology
  • Functional interdependences
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
WIDMER, Eric. The configurational approach to families: methodological suggestions. In: The Palgrave Handbook of Family Sociology in Europe. Cham : Palgrave Macmillan, 2021. p. 107–131. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-73306-3
Main files (1)
Book chapter (Published version)

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