Reconstituting Irish Families: RIFNET

Project: Research

Project Details


RIFNET. Funded through the ESRC/IRC UK-Ireland Networking Call. Full value: £20,000, split between the UK and Irish partners, led by Dr Leanne Calvert and Dr Maeve O'Riordan respectively.

Working in different fields, scholars of the Irish family have long pointed out the conceptual problems of the ‘traditional’ Irish family. Nuclear, white, Catholic, settled, and heterosexual, the idea of the ‘traditional’ Irish family does not, and has never, matched the messy reality. Generations of Irish families have deviated from this model. Yet, their stories have been overlooked, overshadowed and omitted from the narrative. Historians and sociologists and law academics have all captured the lives of historical and contemporary communities of Irish women and men whose family experiences sit outside the assumed norm. While each of these fields have developed a rich disciplinary body of literature, these perspectives have not yet been considered together. RIFNET sits at this nexus and makes an important intervention in scholarship and society to provide academic scholarship and resources. In bringing to the fore marginalised stories and sidelined experiences, this research network provides a powerful challenge to dominant narratives of the family. We aim to push the boundaries of existing knowledge to create a new model that captures the broad diversity and messy realities of Irish family life.
Effective start/end date26/10/2125/10/22


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