Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Families and Relationships across Crises

Friday 12th May, 1.00-7.00

Amnesty International, 25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA

We would like to invite you to the launch and celebration of the Special Issue of Discover Society ‘Families and Relationships across Crises’ (May, 2017), and the ‘Private Lives, Public Intimacies’ and ‘Justice, Rights, Borders’ research streams in the Citizenship and Governance priority research area at The Open University.

Crisis rhetoric and practice is all around us, whether pertaining to the current migration flows or to the global financial meltdown. Presentations will address the ways in which families and relationships are created, sustained, challenged, and disrupted against the backdrop of social and political crises. Through exploration of the intersecting axes of emotional and physical precarity, papers move debate away from ideas of relationships being ‘in crisis’ and concentrate instead on crisis as a backdrop for the material and ideological condition of contemporary relationships. Drawing on original research and rich data, presenters will illustrate how different groups have responded to crises and their impact on experiences and understandings of family and relationships in Europe.

This event is free and open to all, but please register to reserve a place


1.00-1.45 Registration – Refreshments available

1.45-2.15 Welcome and introduction

Professor Sue Scott, Managing Editor Discover Society

Professor Jacqui Gabb and Dr Sara de Jong, The Open University, Research Stream Leads and Editors of the ‘Families and Relationships across Crises’ Special Issue

2.15-3.00 Session 1: Families and Practices of Care

Dr Sevasti-Melissa Nolas, University of Sussex: “Children of the financial crisis”

Dr Elena Vacchelli, University of Greenwich: “Looking at family migration through the lens of ‘integration crisis’: a narrative reflection”

Dr Agata Lisiak, Humboldt University Berlin: “Migrant mothers in austere times: Finding love in a hopeless place?”

3.00-3.45 Session 2: Migration and Relationships in a Divided World

Joanne Vincett, The Open University: “Befriending kinships in immigration detention in the UK”

Dr Vicki Squire, University of Warwick: “The European ‘migration crisis’: Families split and reconfigured across divides”

Dr Reenee Singh, Director of London Intercultural Couples Centre: “Intercultural couples in a divided world”

3.45-4.15 Break

4:15-5.15 Session 3: Austerity and Cuts

Erene Kaptani and Dr Umut Erel, The Open University: “Crisis upon crisis: Migrant families with no recourse to public funds”

Professor Alison Stenning, Newcastle University: “Feeling the squeeze: Thinking psychosocially about low-to-middle income families in austerity”

Dr Sarah Hall and Dr Helen Holmes, University of Manchester: “Making do and getting by? Beyond a romantic politics of austerity and crisis”

Dr Erin Sanders-McDonagh, University of Kent: “Too little, too late: Domestic policy in the age of austerity”

5:15-6:00 Session 4: Sexuality and Networks of Intimacy

Dr Iliana Ortega-Alcázar and Dr Eleanor Wilkinson, University of Southampton: “Just a room in a shared house: The impact of housing benefit cuts on single parents with non-resident children”

Dr Nina Held, University of Sussex: “What does a genuine lesbian/gay relationship look like in the eyes of asylum decision makers?”

Dr Avi Boukli, The Open University: “Queering victimology: victims’ services and the current legal framework in the UK”

6.00-6.30 Round off

6:30-7:00 Celebratory drinks and canapes

Best wishes
Jacqui and Sara

Professor Jacqui Gabb, Chair of Sociology and Intimacy
Dr Sara de Jong, Research Fellow
Faculty of Social Sciences
The Open University