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Uniwersytet SWPS - Logo

Family Lives, Intimacies and Social Change:

New perspectives on families in flux

Program Register now!

The conference is addressed to:

sociologists, doctoral students, researchers, family counselors, and therapists interested in the topic of the conference

Language of the event: English.

Family Lives Conference SWPS

About the conference

Huge social, economic, and political changes resulting from the global pandemic have significantly impacted social bonds and lives of families around the globe. Therefore, the Research Network Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives of the European Sociological Association (ESA RN13) is seeking submissions on the topics concerning new perspectives on families in flux for its Interim Meeting 2022. The meeting, organized by SWPS University (the Youth Research Center and the Institute of Social Sciences), in cooperation with the Faculty of Sociology of the University of Warsaw, will take place in Warsaw, Poland in June 2022.

Call for Papers

Both ongoing and unpredictable social crises and shifts at global, national and local levels are continuously contributing to the changing shape of modern intimacies. This is evident - among others - in the emergence of new family forms and practices, changes in family policies, ambivalence towards previously desirable social roles within families (e.g., related to marriage or reproduction), as well as new dynamics of intergenerational support and conflicts. We are particularly interested in seeing how ‘families in flux’ operate against the backdrop of social change affecting individual biographies, intergenerational transfers and broader societies.

This conference, focused on what changes and what stays the same, will investigate temporalities and shifts within the broadly understood personal lives, intimacies and families. The call for papers invites a wide outlook towards social change. Firstly, we are interested in entries on changes that occur suddenly and unpredictably in the intimate lives of individuals, such as reorganization of family lives during the Covid-19 pandemic. Secondly, we are seeking submissions that integrate a long-term perspective into examining the unfolding consequences of continued crises. In that context, we are looking for analyzes that disentangle the meanings of families and intimacies in the face of major social changes such as individualization, digitalization or climate change.

It has been argued that families and personal relationships have been ‘in flux’ for several decades in late modernity, yet change is neither evenly paced nor it is always moving in a clear direction (e.g. towards nuclearization) This encompasses, in particular, different tempos of historically rooted processes and events linked to demography (e.g., aging, fertility) or politics (e.g., family migration policies, legal frameworks for LGBTQ+ relationships) across different countries. Therefore, we are further interested in papers addressing more locally-bounded changes in family relations, dynamics and practices that have to do with recessions or intensifications of migration crises.

Importantly, the goal of the Interim Meeting is to discuss what changes and what stays the same within the social practices, dynamics, and understandings of intimate and family bonds forged, maintained or dissolved by individuals over time. We want to expand on the previous conference’s call to "think relationally” and add the issues related to the need to think about intimacies and families "temporally", as a response to the chronology, pace and tempo of social changes that impact personal lives at different levels (micro, community, nationally, globally). In addition, we welcome comparative and locally-informed works on the relational dynamics in families and intimate lives across different parts of Europe and world-regions.

The topics of interest include - but are not limited to - the following issues:

  • changes in family practices, dynamics and relations over time
    the impact of wider societal changes - particularly crises - on intimacies and families
  • emergent family practices
  • steadiness and stability within various realms of families and intimacies in spite of change
  • families/intimacies then and now (temporal/life-course/comparative approaches to intimacies)
  • nation-state(s)’ responses to changes in families and intimacies
  • intergenerational transmission and relationships as the sites of managing/navigating social change within families.

The thematic orientation of the conference described above does not exclude papers focusing on related topics that we have not explicitly mentioned. All of these will be enthusiastically received and reviewed. Both empirical and theoretical papers are welcome.

Abstract Submission Requirements

Submissions for the conference should contain an abstract of max. 500 words, outlining (where applicable) the research question, the theoretical framework, the methodology and data used, as well as empirical findings and contributions.

Please submit the abstract to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If the number of slots for oral presentations is exceeded, atuthors of some accepted papers will have an opportunity to presented posters.

Selected papers of the ESA RN13 Interim Meeting 2022 in Warsaw will be published in a special issue of an academic journal (TBC)

Ph.D. Paper Awards

RN13 encourages participation of junior scholars and PhD students, who will be considered for best Ph.D. paper awards, with two prizes of €250 each. When submitting abstracts as Ph.D. students/junior scholars, please indicate that you want to participate in the competition. Please be advised that only those who have not yet defended their doctoral dissertations are eligible for these awards.

Important Dates:

December 20, 2021 – abstract submission deadline
February 28, 2022 – paper acceptance announcement
March 1, 2022 – Registration opens
May 30, 2022 – Registration and payment deadline


Free – for ESA RN13 members
EUR 50.00 (or PLN 240.00) – for non-memebers


Keynote Lectures and Speakers

Prof. Tina Miller
Motherhood, Contemporary Transitions and Generational Change: Having it all or doing it all?

The topic of motherhood holds an enduring fascination as well as providing a barometer of social and other change. Importantly, it is through the lens of motherhood and mothering, that broader social changes and practices in relation to families, gender equality, care and paid work are brought into relief. This presentation will examine experiences of becoming a mother in the UK using qualitative longitudinal data from two Motherhood studies, conducted a generation apart (Miller, 1998, 2005, 2020). This temporal trajectory illuminates structural and personal flux as well as aspects of constancy in the years between the two studies as women make sense of unfolding transition experiences. The data invites various questions in relation to contemporary motherhood, prompted by political, medical and other changes, including how digital worlds have amplified aspects of ‘professionalised’ motherhood and whether it has ever been a more difficult time to be a mother. The research also falls into a very particular global moment, as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupts family and work lives. Using materials from Lockdown diary entries collected from the new mothers as much of Europe went into lockdowns (from March 2020), provides an unexpected perspective from which the women can reflect upon and narrate mothering experiences. Cumulatively, these features of contemporary life present new questions and underscore existing ones in relation to women’s lives, mothering and motherhood. Are women having it all or just doing it all?

Tina Miller
Tina Miller
is a Professor of Sociology at Oxford Brookes University in the UK. Her research interests include family lives and significant transitions, gender, identities and reproductive health. She has been an advisor at the World Health Organisation, contributed to think tanks, political parties and parliamentary committees in the UK and at the EU. She regularly participates in TV and radio programmes in relation to her research and publications on motherhood, fatherhood and managing paid work and care in contemporary family lives. Most recently authoring a BBC Radio Analysis Programme on Modern Parenting Tina’s fourth Cambridge University Press monograph Motherhood: Contemporary Transitions and Generational Change, is due for publication later this year. Her previous CUP monographs include: Making Sense of Motherhood: A Narrative Approach (2005), Making Sense of Fatherhood: Gender, Caring and Work (2010) and Making Sense of Parenthood: Caring, Gender and Family Lives (2017).

Prof. Joanna Mizielińska
Mothers Under Surveillance, Married Fathers, and Their Children: An Intergenerational Perspective on Queer Parenthood in Poland

Drawing on interviews, ethnographic observations, and focus groups with lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children conducted as part of the “Families of Choice in Poland” research project, this lecture aims to present diverse experiences of queer parenthood in Poland, where there is no recognition of social/co-parents, and second-parent adoption is not available. During the lecture, particular attention will be given to a social/co-parents’ unstable, precarious, fragile position, and various attempts to legitimize them. They range from strategies already described in the Anglo-American literature to those very particular and tied to the Polish cultural context like queering baptism. The lecture will also examine perspectives of children born and/or brought up by queer parents, presenting their views on their families and their evaluation of bonds with queer parents. Throughout the lecture, Prof. Mizielińska will critically join the Anglo-American debate on queering parenthood, mostly conducted in the context of assimilation/conformity vs. transgression/subversion paradigm (Bell and Binnie 2000; Duggan 2002; Warner 1993). Instead of seeing queer parenthood through these binary and more or less normative discussions, I propose concentrating on actual daily practices of sustaining and legitimizing parenthood. She intends to show that those practices are deeply rooted in social and cultural contexts, which shape queer experiences of forming families. She will demonstrate that what queer(ing) parenthood is and is not, depends on the same context. Prof. Mizielińska also argues for perceiving queer children as an essential agent within queer families whose role complicates the dichotomic picture between choice and blood described in the Anglo-American classic books on queer kinship (Weston 1997; Weeks, Donovan and Heaphy 2011). In her concluding remarks, she will summarize the key threads and will concentrate on different readings of queer resistance and subversion beyond the Anglo-American framework. She will introduce the concept of tactics inspired by Michel de Certeau’s work (Certeau 2008) to show that assimilation is a double-edged idea that might be used tactically in daily queer fights for the livable life, particularly in geopolitical locations where LGBTQ people are still deprived of their rights.

Joanna Mizielińska
Joanna Mizielińska
Associate Professor
holds an extended Ph.D. (habilitacja) in sociology from the University of Warsaw and a Ph.D. in Women’s Philosophy from the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of Polish Academy of Sciences, where she currently works as an Associate Professor. Her research interests concentrate on queer theory, queer kinship, and sociology of gender, sexuality and families. Her earlier research focused on the politics of translation of Anglo-American queer theoretical approaches/concepts into other geo-political contexts and the question of exclusion. Currently, she researches queer kinship and queer families. Recently, she has been the Principal Investigator in the “Families of Choice in Poland” project (2013-2016), which was the first multi-method project on non-heterosexual families in Poland. She is the author of Different or ordinary? Families of choice in Poland (2017), Sex/Body/Sexuality (2007) and (De)Constructions of Femininity (2004), and a co-author of In different voices. Families of Choice in Poland (2017) and Families of choice in Poland. Family life of non-heterosexual persons (2015). Her most recent writing focuses on critical analysis of discourses on families of choice in Poland and queer kinship plasticity (Journal of Homosexuality, 2017, 2020) and researching queer kinship beyond Western queer paradigms (Sexualities, 2017, Gender Place and Culture, 2022). Her upcoming book Queer Kinship at the Edge? Families of Choice in Poland, focusing on queer kinship decentring Anglo-American empirical and theoretical framework will be published by Routledge in 2022.

Registration Form


Payment Information:

The fee for non-members of ESA RN13 is EUR 50.00 or PLN 240.00.

Paymnet deadline: May 30, 2022

In the payment subject line, please enter the name of the conference and your first and last name.

Payment in EUR

SWPS Uniwersytet Humanistyczno-Społeczny
ul. Chodakowska 19/31
03-815 Warszawa, Polska

Santander Bank Polska S.A.
Plac Andersa 5, 61-894 Poznań
Account number: PL21 1090 1854 0000 0001 3529 2157
IBAN: PL21 1090 1854 0000 0001 3529 2157

IMPORTANT NOTE: for payments in EUR you must include the IBAN and SWIFT numbers

Payment in PLN

SWPS Uniwersytet Humanistyczno-Społeczny
ul. Chodakowska 19/31
03-815 Warszawa, Polska

BNP Paribas Bank Polska SA
Account number: 30 1750 1019 0000 0000 3625 3541


Local Organizers

  • Paula Pustulka, Institute of Social Sciences, Youth Research Center, SWPS University
    e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Małgorzata Sikorska, Faculty of Sociology, University of Warsaw
    e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • SWPS University logo
  • ESA logo
  • UW Faculty of Sociology