• A mother’s hope in the midst of existential immobility from state and stigma

      Smith, Katherine; email: katherine.smith-3@manchester.ac.uk (Berghahn Books, 2021-06-01)
      The article is situated ethnographically in households on the main social housing estate in Harpurhey, North Manchester, England. It explores the affective dynamics of motherhood and imaginations of the future with a backdrop of prolonged government disinvestment. We follow the experiences of a mother and her son as they deal with moments of uncertainty and attempt to imagine and prepare for his future free from dependence on state welfare. Considering that parenting marks time in the most intimate of ways and it confronts parents with the passing of time in terms of biological “growth” that sequences time for us, this article addresses how and at what points dependence on the state, over time, reconfigures the affective dynamics of motherhood and imaginations of familial dependencies into the future.
    • The Nuclear/Nuclear Family

      Kalshoven, Petra Tjitske; email: petratjitske.kalshoven@manchester.ac.uk (Berghahn Books, 2021-06-01)
      During the COVID-19 lockdown, as households were kept separate in a bid to contain the coronavirus, morally underpinned dynamics of fission and fusion occurred, privileging the ‘nuclear family’, which is taken here in two senses: the conventional social unit of a couple and their children, on the one hand, and the togetherness promoted by the nuclear industry in North West England, on the other. Whilst Sellafield’s Nuclear family fused with its host community in an outpouring of corporate kindness and volunteering, singles bereft of nuclear families were fissioned off from social life, which led to a corrective debate in the Netherlands. Drawing out analogies from a modest comparative perspective, I posit the nuclear family as a prism affording insights into the corporate, governmental and personal management of intimacy.