Associate Professor Castrén Anna-Maija and working group (NETREP)

386400 €

Networks of reproduction in the complex planetary future: Intimacy, companionship and family building in Finland, Portugal, and Scotland

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

NETREP investigates the transformation of intimate life and reproduction in Finland, Portugal, and Scotland. The project carries out a comparative analysis of the reproduction regimes by which we mean the social and cultural expectations that everyone should procreate, inscribed into social structures emphasising human, intra-species relations and relatedness. In the era of severe planetary and inter-state crises like climate change, mass migration, pandemics and the war in Ukraine, the project investigates young adults’ responses to normative expectations to biologically parent and pursue an exclusive family unit based on a heterosexual couple that is still, and despite the diversification of family and intimate lives and the precarity of labour markets, considered as the family form to be aspired to. The empirical focus is on young or youngish adults’ (aged 25 to 40 years) subjective views and concerns about their future intimacies and on their networks of significant others, be they human or non-human, to grasp similarities and differences between reproduction regimes and people’s responses to them in three countries. Methodologically we draw from qualitative network analysis that adds the systematic structural analysis of the participants’ relational contexts to the qualitative in-depth interviewing and analysis of personal experiences and sense-making. We recruit 20 to 25 participants in each country (60 to 75 in total) heterogeneous in their gender identification, sexual orientation, ethnic background, education and class, civic and political activity, couple and family status, and household composition. The accumulation of data will be carefully monitored to secure the comparability of three datasets. The research is conducted by an international and interdisciplinary research group with complementing expertise to sketch scenarios for European reproductive futures.