"Changes in personal life in recent decades illustrate significant socio-cultural transformations. However, the focus of mainstream sociological literature has been the heterosexual, monogamic and reproductive couple, with little research exploring non-conventional intimacy in Southern Europe. INTIMATE’s main aim is to contribute to legal, policy and cultural innovation through the findings of a comparative, empirically-grounded, research project designed to rethink citizenship, care and choice from the point of view of 'non-standard intimacies' (Berlant and Warner, 2000) in 3 contrasting Southern European countries: Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Guided by the fundamental sociological question of how change takes place and, concomitantly, how law and social policy adjust to and/or shape the practices and expectations of individuals concerning personal life, this research will address intimacy from the perspective of those on the margins of social, legal and policy concerns in Southern Europe – lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people.
INTIMATE is based on 3 strands – Strand 1: the micropolitics of partnering; Strand 2: the micropolitics of parenting; and Strand 3: the micropolitics of friendship. The notion of micropolitics enables a double focus on everyday practices and expectations (biographic dimension) within the wider contextual framework of law and social policy (socio-legal dimension).
This qualitative research involves conducting 6 cross-national qualitative studies across the strands of partnering, parenting and friendship in each of the chosen countries. Topics covered are lesbian coupledom, polyamorous relationships, assisted conception and surrogacy, naming a child, transgender and care, and living with friends in adult life.
Expected results include a range of both international and national publications targeting academia and beyond, thematic conferences and participatory workshops, policy briefs, media briefs and an interactive website."
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