Webinar Series: Decolonising Families and Relationships

Over the academic year for 2020/21, the Families and Relationships Study Group will be exploring how to advance and embed efforts to decolonise scholarship in this global area of sociology. 

The study of 'the' family has long been critiqued for its heteronormativity, whiteness and reproduction of specific, privileged family forms. In recent decades, families and relationship scholarship has expanded and adapted to these challenges, attending to an increasingly diverse range of relationships and non-normative households. However, progress has been slow, and overall, research remains predominantly white in its focus, and citation practices indicate the privileging of male scholars from the global north. As Gurminder Bhambra (2008) points out, sociological imaginations are limited when they are premised on Eurocentric assumptions. 

Three Webinar Events

As part of the endeavour for 'connected sociologies,' and particularly in light of the recent Black Lives Matter movement, our Study Group are holding three events exploring new ways of thinking about and understanding families and relationships by drawing on global knowledge and examining the forces which have shaped our scholarship. In doing so, we will explore new avenues which challenge expectations of what families are and what they do, drawing on marginal experiences and voices, in ways which situate 'British sociology' within the international milieu.

Webinar 1: Held on 26 November 2020

Keynote: Prof Vrushali Patil (Florida International University, Department of Global & Sociocultural Studies, USA). Vrushali draws on the intersections of gender and sexuality studies, postcolonial studies, and historical sociology. For more information on Vrushali's work, please click here


Prof Allen Kim (International Christian University, Japan), "Out-Whiting the Whites"

Dr Mona Röhm (University of Salzburg, Austria), "Intimacies beyond Europe"

Dr Shannon Kuriakose Philip (University of Cambridge, UK), "Queering the ‘Indian Family

The video from webinar 1 can be found here

Webinar 2: Held on 24 March 2021

For this event, our speakers included:
Dr Natalia Concha-Arango (Research Officer, LSE), 'De-centring maternal trajectories: a study of intergenerational triads under adversity in Colombia’
Sherilyn Deen (PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam) '‘Mixing’ and racialization: the production of knowledge and mixed marriages and relationships in the Netherlands’
Briony Campbell (Filmmaker and photographer) 'Love in Translation' (a photography and film project which tells the stories of African/British families living in African countries)

The video from Webinar 2 is available here.

Webinar 3: held on 18 June 2021 (12.30-2pm, BST) featured papers on

Jo Britton (University of Sheffield) 'Muslim Families, Relationships and Personal Life'

Hannah Jones (University of Warwick) 'Belonging and ownership: ‘family’ as a stand-in for ‘race’ in settler-colonial identity claim'

Asma Khan & Julie Walsh (University of Sheffield) 'Knowing and understanding migrant families: everyday bordering in social care practice in the UK'

Fallon Tiffany Cabral (University of Berlin) 'Bad Brown Auntie* Intersectional Family* Research Manifesto*' 

The video from Webinar 3 is available here.