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Children in multi-local post-separation families

GoTriple's project summary

This project focuses on the experience of two cohorts of children aged 10 to 16 who are living in multi-local, post-separation families in Belgium, in France and in Italy, that is, families where the mother and the father are either divorced or separated, live in different households in the same country, and share the physical custody of their child(ren). A major goal of this project is to investigate the diversity of children’s experience of multi-local family life and identify their specific needs, through children’s own accounts of their lives. This means understanding if, and under what circumstances, children appropriate their multi-local lives and develop an habitus that incorporates the capacity to maintain social relations in a multi-local context and to appropriate mobility and virtual connectedness. The project combines three levels of analysis: the macro-level of policies, the meso-level of family environments (family resources, cultures and practices; and spatial contexts), and the micro-level of children’s lives, which consists in examining how children maintain their social and family relationships as they move with various temporalities between two households that are located in specific administrative territories and spatial entities. This means understanding how children’s interpersonal relationships and networks of significant others shape, and are re-shaped by their mobility in post-separation families; and the interconnections between geographical and virtual mobility. The study combines four methods: a policy analysis of multilocality, secondary data analysis of relevant databases, semi-structured interviews with children’s mothers and fathers, and a qualitative, in-depth study of the lived experiences of children.

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