Family Troubles Symposium

Family Troubles: Care and Change in Diverse Contexts

One-day Symposium, 16 September 2015, University of Reading, UK
Download the flyer here


Click here to register.

This inter-disciplinary symposium aims to explore family relations, care and 'troubles' in diverse contexts. The symposium will reflect on the powerful, often emotive discourses associated with 'family' in different cultural and policy settings and explore the (potentially troubling or troubled) changes, caring practices, and intergenerational relations that shape family lives over time and space in both the global North and South.

Parallel paper sessions will address the following themes:

  • Meanings of 'family' and (troubling) changes in family lives
  • Care and interdependencies in diverse household forms
  • Support for 'troubled' families
  • Responses to death and 'bereavement'
  • Life-limiting illness, dying bodies and family caring practices

These contentious, emotive and sensitive issues pose questions and dilemmas for policy makers, practitioners and service users, as well as researchers and academics interested in issues of family change, care and support.

In addition to paper presentations, the Symposium will include:

  • 'Reflections on negotiated and constrained interdependencies within and across generations': Keynote lecture by Professor Samantha Punch, University of Stirling
  • 'Caringscapes, Responses to Death and Family Relations in Urban Senegal': Presentation of findings of a Leverhulme Trust research project conducted by Ruth Evans, Jane Ribbens McCarthy, Sophie Bowlby and Jos√©phine Wouango andpanel discussion with Dr. Avril Maddrell, University of the West of England, Isobel Bremner, Candle Project, St Christopher's Hospice and other leading academics, practitioners and policymakers
  • Drinks reception.

For the provisional programme and a flyer, click here and see our project blog for updates.

This event builds on earlier work on the theme of Family Troubles? sponsored by the Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance at the Open University. For related events and links, see, and watch this podcast for a presentation of the associated book, 'Family Troubles: Exploring Changes and Challenges in the Family Lives of Children and Young People' edited by Jane Ribbens McCarthy, Carol-Ann Hooper and Val Gillies, 2013, Policy Press.
This Symposium is co-sponsored by the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group, the British Sociological Association (BSA) Families and Relationships Study Group, the BSA Death, Dying and Bereavement Study Group and the Association for the Study of Death and Society (ASDS). It is funded by the University of Reading, the Open University and the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group.
Registration fee (includes lunch and refreshments): £30
A small number of bursaries for registration fees and/or travel expenses are available for postgraduates/ practitioners/ unwaged (funded by the RGS-IBG Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group).

Things to do now

Register for the event here
For a flyer click here
For more information and updates see our project blog
Contact: Ruth Evans:



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