‘Living together apart’ (LTA) is the practice of remaining in close domestic proximity following the ending of an intimate relationship. Using the conceptual framework of families in motion, in which families are re-envisioned as in flow, responding to all kinds of disruptions, chosen and unchosen, by ‘holding on’, adapting, adjusting and redirecting, this chapter explores the family practices involved in LTA. Using collaborative autoethnography – a research process in which the authors jointly explored data from their own lives – the authors were able to develop an understanding of LTA that was attentive to everyday life and the interconnections of time and space within families. The authors found that when families are living within less normative constellations, there are fewer scripts to rely upon and the potential for non-legitimacy and anxiety increases. The data also showed how deeply families are embedded in practices that are always in relation to an experienced past and imagined future. The importance of having a family story to tell that ‘works’ socially and emotionally, as well as having a home that can spatially encompass such new flows in family lives, is crucial.
McDonnell, L., Murray, L., Hinton-Smith, T. and Ferreira, N. (2019), "‘Living Together Apart’ as Families in Motion", Murray, L., McDonnell, L., Hinton-Smith, T., Ferreira, N. and Walsh, K. (Ed.) Families in Motion: Ebbing and Flowing through Space and Time, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 57-77. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78769-415-620191004Download as .RIS
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