RIFNET. A new agenda for the Irish family: messy realities & messier lives

Leanne Calvert, Maeve O'Riordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This special issue introduces new research on historical approaches to the Irish family. The articles in this collection have grown out of the Reconstituting the Irish Family Research Network (RIFNET), an interdisciplinary research cluster of scholars working on the Irish family. Covering families and family life from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, the issue explores several themes, including marriage, divorce, and separation; queer families and queer approaches to the family; pets, kinship, and non-human families; sibling relationships and migrating families. The publication of this special issue provides a timely reassessment of meanings and experiences of family in Ireland, coinciding with the March 2024 referendum on the Irish Constitution. The articles in this collection stand testament to the rich diversity of family forms and family experiences in Ireland, both past and present, and chart new pathways to guide future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalThe History of the Family
Issue number1
Early online date25 Feb 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Feb 2024


  • Family
  • Irish Family
  • Marriage
  • Relationships
  • Kinship
  • queer
  • relationships
  • siblings
  • Ireland
  • marriage
  • sex


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