Unconventional relationships, positive marginalities and citizenship
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractLong distance relationships and caring at a distance may be connected with emotional and psychological exhaustion but also gratification, reward and empowerment; above all, they possess important implications in terms of social justice, equality and citizenship. The expression ‘world families’ (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2014) includes a heterogeneous and tension-filled set of social actors who have in common the potential to bridge traditional distinctions between public and private, centre and periphery, national and international, able-bodied and physically/cognitively impaired, heterosexual and homosexual, bypassing dichotomous ideas of inclusion/exclusion which typically characterise the concept of citizenship. These families represent a group of very different social actors, including couples of mixed cultures and ethnicities, low-paid migrant workers, skilled migrant workers, asylum seekers, refugees, distant families, etc. who challenge our culturally homogenous understanding of family and society and are defined therefore as ‘pioneers of cosmopolitanism’ and cultural diversity. Drawing on recent work on families, relationships, intimacies and caring for distant others and contextualising it within the specific and still unexplored context of Living Apart Together (LAT) same-sex couples, this article examines the moral, sociological and institutional geographies of these less visible chains of care and affection and their unequally entitled rights and visibility. The literature review is combined with auto-ethnographic work analysing and discussing the case of a married, same-sex, transnational, Living Apart Together (LAT) couple. This article suggests that by looking at what happens at the level of emotion-based, micro-situated interactions we can get some crucial insights into the changing nature of families, intimacies and relationships and their multiple implications in terms of social inclusion, entitlement to rights/citizenship and social change. It is a form of relational, emotion-based and micro-situated social inclusion and entitlement to rights/citizenship which is occurring, on a daily basis, in the interstices of people’s interactions even when such change still meets several obstacles at the structural, political and institutional level.
CitationPRATESI, Alessandro (2018). “Unconventional relationships, positive marginalities and citizenship” [online article]. Digithum, no. 23, pp. 1-14. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and Universidad de Antioquia. http://doi.org/10.7238/d.v0i22.3130
PublisherUniversitat Oberta de Catalunya
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