The world as we see it: family socialisation and reflexivity
Seminar “Families And Life Course. Methodological Potential, Gaps And Challenges”
The main goal of this presentation is to analyse the centrality of family socialisation processes in the formation of personal reflexivity, using a biographical approach. It is within the family sphere that individuals develop a first grid of observation and assessment of themselves and of what surrounds them. The inner world of a person is shaped and the social world is filtered at early stages of life, in a decisive way, by the family contexts. Through family socialisation subjects do their first abstraction exercises towards roles and attitudes and start developing a distanced relation with themselves. These are the foundations of the individuals’ reflexive competences that can be enhanced or constrained in later stages of life in other contexts of socialisation. The discussion around these topics is undertaken based on research focused on the social mechanisms of personal reflexivity, i.e., people’s ability to reflect upon themselves taking into consideration their social circumstances. Multi-session biographical interviews were carried out to capture past experiences, present interpretations and future projects. This diachronic overview on individual lives was crucial to understand not only how the ability to think about oneself is developed throughout the life course and is structured in a significant way within the family, but also how the impact of family socialisation in the formation of personal reflexivity competences occurs differently according to the family’s social background. These differentiation processes contribute greatly to the development of diverse reflexivity profiles. All individuals exercise reflexivity in order to be competent social actors, but they do it in different ways. Family socialisation is one of the main social factors explaining these dissimilarities.
Reflexividade, Socialização familiar, Biografias