Session on “Family Networks” at the XXXIII. Sunbelt 2013 – Hamburg

Call for Papers for a session on “Family Networks”
at the XXXIII. Sunbelt Conference, May 21 – 26, 2013 in Hamburg, Germany

Session organizers:

Andreas Klärner, University of Rostock, Germany,
Sylvia Keim, University of Rostock, Germany,

Reaching back to Elizabeth Bott’s classic study on family relations and the division of labor within a couple, social network analysis has been an interesting perspective for family researchers. Since the discussion about “postmodern” or “patchwork”-families the traditional concept of family has been challenged and no longer can be conceived as given or unproblematic. Here the perspective of dynamically changing networks of family relations has become more and more prominent. Drawing on this discussion, we would like to ask how a network perspective can enhance our understanding of different processes in the making of families. Therefore, in this session we want to bring together researchers interested in family relations and social network analysis. We invite abstracts on theoretical as well as empirical work and appreciate different methodological approaches ranging from quantitative to qualitative and mixed-methods research methods.

Possible topics may include:

  • Family construction or the concept of family: How can a network perspective of dynamically changing family relations contribute to the discussion on changing and varying family patterns?
  • Union and family formation: How do personal relations and social support networks affect transitions to different stages in union and family formation? Do social networks have an effect on the transition to parenthood?
  • Family networks across the life course: How do family (and other) relations change across the life course? A special focus can be on specific life events as partnership formation, (re-)marriage, parenthood, separation/divorce, widowhood, children leaving home…
  • The effects of family ties in various research fields: What is the role of family ties and family support networks for e.g. individual health, education trajectories, (recovery from) drug addiction, criminal trajectories?
  • Intergenerational exchanges: What forms of social capital do intergenerational ties provide? Which financial transfers take place? How are they embedded in rules of reciprocity or solidarity? How are support for children and care of the elderly in “patchwork”-families organized?

Sunbelt Submission will be closing on December 31 at 11:59:59 EST. In order to organize the session, we will need the abstract a bit earlier, by December 20, 2012. Please limit your abstract to 250 words. The oral presentation is scheduled for 20 minutes. Please contact us, if you have any questions. For further information on the conference see

Contact: Andreas Klärner, Institut für Soziologie und Demographie, Universität Rostock, Ulmenstr. 69, D-18057 Rostock, Tel. +(0)381 498-4367, E-Mail