Gender and Generations: continuity and change in family narratives

Gender and Generations: continuity and change in family narratives

To be a woman or a man are not experiences with universal or a-historical meanings, but instead vary according to social contexts and temporalities. Taking into account recent social transformations in Portugal, this project aims to investigate gender relations, through the reconstitution of family narratives of three different generations of women and men from two regions of Portugal with very different modernization patterns: Lisbon and Mondim de Basto (NUTIII of Tâmega). The balance between continuity and change in family life, despite the persistency of gender inequalities which mark individual biographies, is to be researched through an intergenerational perspective over the construction of gender. The flows of material and symbolic transmissions in male (grandfather, father, son) and female (grandmother, mother, daughter) lineages, long term processes through which gender identities and roles are (re)produced, are also to be analysed. In fact, it is in family histories that the vertex of (the) social reproduction and change can be found. Thus, as a first socialization locus for most individuals, it is within the family that some important features of women's and men's roles in society are changing. As life course perspectives propose, individuals' trajectories are, on the one hand, implicated in a social and historical time which, in a certain extent, constitutes a life frame shared by each generation; and, on the other hand, they are part of a specific family universe of socialization, in which values, «doing gender» systems and material and symbolic capitals are transmitted. In a time of social change, with more opportunities for social mobility and biographic construction, how and which are the mechanisms of family reproduction?  Moreover, how is it different for women and men? Which are the inheritances that pass between generations and which are the ruptures that fabricate change in social trajectories and gender identity construction? In this investigation two perspectives on family narratives are combined:1) Using an intergenerational framework, transmissions between generations of women and men are analysed, observing four dimensions, particularly sensitive to gender cleavages. Firstly, the gender division of labour in the family is investigated to identify, in different generations, the division of work, family interaction styles (more or less segmented according to gender) and educational models (specially looking for different schooling strategies) used with boys and girls. Secondly, the values transmitted are observed in female and male lineages, in order to capture the ways in which gender cultures are (re)produced within the family and evaluate both the degree of crystallization\permeability to change and the normative distance between the older, the middle and the younger generation. Supports and sociabilities are also looked at, drawing on the exchange networks between generations and the female and male participations therein. Finally, class trajectories are reconstructed, evaluating the existence of different mobility patterns according to gender.2) An intragenerational perspective is also used, aimed towards individuals' biographies as social actors. The life course of each generation of men and women is followed, observing changes, continuities and critical moments of biographic turn in the course of individual trajectories. Secondly, the social meanings of gender are compared, reconstituting the masculinity and femininity semantics (re)built throughout the life course. Only through this analysis can one evaluate the impact of social time and of biographic transitions in gender cultures of a given generation, in a family and historical sense. The methodological design of the research adopts a theoretical perspective which understands gender within the frame of other social cleavages: social class and regional context. Therefore, young women and men in transition to adulthood are selected, of age 17 to 20 years old, living in Lisbon and Mondim de Basto, with university and non university school careers. Their parents and grandparents are contacted afterwards, to seek for situations where regular contact between individuals exists. To each generation of interviewees corresponds a different historical time of entry into adulthood. The grandchildren are representative of a generation born in the Portugal of the European Union. The generation of parents portrays the country of deep post-revolutionary changes. As for the grandparents, they carry the experiences of living under the authoritarian regime of the Estado Novo.  This research uses as its main instrument semi-structured in-depth interviews, applied to 10 female lineages\30 women and 10 male lineages\30 men. The samples are stratified according to region and school status of the younger generation. Whenever possible the habitats of the different family members will be observed, to complete the information on their ways of life.

Estatuto: 
Participant entity
Financed: 
No
Keywords: 

Gender; lifecourse; Family lineages

To be a woman or a man are not experiences with universal or a-historical meanings, but instead vary according to social contexts and temporalities. Taking into account recent social transformations in Portugal, this project aims to investigate gender relations, through the reconstitution of family narratives of three different generations of women and men from two regions of Portugal with very different modernization patterns: Lisbon and Mondim de Basto (NUTIII of Tâmega). The balance between continuity and change in family life, despite the persistency of gender inequalities which mark individual biographies, is to be researched through an intergenerational perspective over the construction of gender. The flows of material and symbolic transmissions in male (grandfather, father, son) and female (grandmother, mother, daughter) lineages, long term processes through which gender identities and roles are (re)produced, are also to be analysed. In fact, it is in family histories that the vertex of (the) social reproduction and change can be found. Thus, as a first socialization locus for most individuals, it is within the family that some important features of women's and men's roles in society are changing. As life course perspectives propose, individuals' trajectories are, on the one hand, implicated in a social and historical time which, in a certain extent, constitutes a life frame shared by each generation; and, on the other hand, they are part of a specific family universe of socialization, in which values, «doing gender» systems and material and symbolic capitals are transmitted. In a time of social change, with more opportunities for social mobility and biographic construction, how and which are the mechanisms of family reproduction?  Moreover, how is it different for women and men? Which are the inheritances that pass between generations and which are the ruptures that fabricate change in social trajectories and gender identity construction? In this investigation two perspectives on family narratives are combined:1) Using an intergenerational framework, transmissions between generations of women and men are analysed, observing four dimensions, particularly sensitive to gender cleavages. Firstly, the gender division of labour in the family is investigated to identify, in different generations, the division of work, family interaction styles (more or less segmented according to gender) and educational models (specially looking for different schooling strategies) used with boys and girls. Secondly, the values transmitted are observed in female and male lineages, in order to capture the ways in which gender cultures are (re)produced within the family and evaluate both the degree of crystallization\permeability to change and the normative distance between the older, the middle and the younger generation. Supports and sociabilities are also looked at, drawing on the exchange networks between generations and the female and male participations therein. Finally, class trajectories are reconstructed, evaluating the existence of different mobility patterns according to gender.2) An intragenerational perspective is also used, aimed towards individuals' biographies as social actors. The life course of each generation of men and women is followed, observing changes, continuities and critical moments of biographic turn in the course of individual trajectories. Secondly, the social meanings of gender are compared, reconstituting the masculinity and femininity semantics (re)built throughout the life course. Only through this analysis can one evaluate the impact of social time and of biographic transitions in gender cultures of a given generation, in a family and historical sense. The methodological design of the research adopts a theoretical perspective which understands gender within the frame of other social cleavages: social class and regional context. Therefore, young women and men in transition to adulthood are selected, of age 17 to 20 years old, living in Lisbon and Mondim de Basto, with university and non university school careers. Their parents and grandparents are contacted afterwards, to seek for situations where regular contact between individuals exists. To each generation of interviewees corresponds a different historical time of entry into adulthood. The grandchildren are representative of a generation born in the Portugal of the European Union. The generation of parents portrays the country of deep post-revolutionary changes. As for the grandparents, they carry the experiences of living under the authoritarian regime of the Estado Novo.  This research uses as its main instrument semi-structured in-depth interviews, applied to 10 female lineages\30 women and 10 male lineages\30 men. The samples are stratified according to region and school status of the younger generation. Whenever possible the habitats of the different family members will be observed, to complete the information on their ways of life.

Objectivos: 
This project evaluates the impact of social time and biographic transitions over gender cultures between and within generations. Firstly, it analysis symbolic and material transmissions between generations by reconstituting family narratives (male and female) through four dimensions: gender division of labour, that is, its modalities, family interaction styles, education principles and gendered schooling strategies; value systems in female and male lineages, defining the ways gender cultures are produced and assessing both the degree of crystallization\permeability to change and the normative gap between generations; supports and sociabilities, defining exchange networks and gendered participations; and class trajectories, evaluating the existence of gendered mobility patterns. Secondly, the research focuses on individuals' biographies as social actors and follows the life courses in each generation, seeking for changes, continuities and turning points in their trajectories; it also compares the social meanings of gender and reconstitutes the semantics of masculinity and femininity.
Observações: 
Retirado "Pedro Alcantra da Silva" da área "colaboradores" no tab "equipa"
State of the art: 
To be a woman or a man are not experiences with universal or a-historical meanings, but instead vary according to social contexts and temporalities. Taking into account recent social transformations in Portugal, this project aims to investigate gender relations, through the reconstitution of family narratives of three different generations of women and men from two regions of Portugal with very different modernization patterns: Lisbon and Mondim de Basto (NUTIII of T&acirc;mega). The balance between continuity and change in family life, despite the persistency of gender inequalities which mark individual biographies, is to be researched through an intergenerational perspective over the construction of gender. The flows of material and symbolic transmissions in male (grandfather, father, son) and female (grandmother, mother, daughter) lineages, long term processes through which gender identities and roles are (re)produced, are also to be analysed. In fact, it is in family histories that the vertex of (the) social reproduction and change can be found. Thus, as a first socialization locus for most individuals, it is within the family that some important features of women?s and men?s roles in society are changing. <br />As life course perspectives propose, individuals? trajectories are, on the one hand, implicated in a social and historical time which, in a certain extent, constitutes a life frame shared by each generation; and, on the other hand, they are part of a specific family universe of socialization, in which values, &laquo;doing gender&raquo; systems and material and symbolic capitals are transmitted. In a time of social change, with more opportunities for social mobility and biographic construction, how and which are the mechanisms of family reproduction? Moreover, how is it different for women and men? Which are the inheritances that pass between generations and which are the ruptures that fabricate change in social trajectories and gender identity construction? <br />In this investigation two perspectives on family narratives are combined: <br />1) Using an intergenerational framework, transmissions between generations of women and men are analysed, observing four dimensions, particularly sensitive to gender cleavages. Firstly, the gender division of labour in the family is investigated to identify, in different generations, the division of work, family interaction styles (more or less segmented according to gender) and educational models (specially looking for different schooling strategies) used with boys and girls. Secondly, the values transmitted are observed in female and male lineages, in order to capture the ways in which gender cultures are (re)produced within the family and evaluate both the degree of crystallization\permeability to change and the normative distance between the older, the middle and the younger generation. Supports and sociabilities are also looked at, drawing on the exchange networks between generations and the female and male participations therein. Finally, class trajectories are reconstructed, evaluating the existence of different mobility patterns according to gender. <br />2) An intragenerational perspective is also used, aimed towards individuals? biographies as social actors. The life course of each generation of men and women is followed, observing changes, continuities and critical moments of biographic turn in the course of individual trajectories.
Pedro Vasconcelos Coito
Dulce Neves

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Coordenador 
Start Date: 
01/12/2006
End Date: 
31/12/2011
Duração: 
60 meses
Closed