Publication details

„Postav dům…“: Česká rodinná odysea – začátek

Title in English „A House, a Family...“: The Czech Family Odyssey – the Beginning


Year of publication 2011
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Sociální studia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Field Sociology, demography
Keywords young family; housing; gender aspects of family life; barriers to parenthood; interaction between an actor and structure
Description The article problematizes a relationship between availability of housing possibilities and conditions of young families for attaining them in the context of a gendered social structure. Relatively little research attention has been paid so far to this phenomena using gender perspective as an analytical tool in social sciences; both nationally and internationally. The empirical part of the research article uses data from 26 interviews with young families from Brno and vicinity recorded roughly five years after their first child was born. The text reveals aspects of their lives, where gender is challenged as well as reproduced in relation to housing opportunities. The analysis reveals how individual as well as social imperatives concerning living conditions, e.g. towards ownership of the property, criteria of comfortable size and environment, seriously intervene and modify choices and everyday arrangements, work careers and care of the parent couples. Their destinies (despite the context of recent state housing policies) are presented in the interviews as highly privatized, individual solutions. A result of the chosen housing strategy is often a combination of big debts (loans, mortgages) with high repayment ratios, and an isolation of the parent in caring status in the "friendly environment" living that is far from convenient commuting distance, job options for the caring parent or day care/schooling opportunities for children. These factors seriously limit arrangements for harmonisation of care and work and enforce traditional gender relations. The descriptive information in the text documents some trends relevant for the young families in the study, grasped since the early phases of this longitudinal research (their first pregnancy in the winter of 2005–6 ), through experiences and adaptation to parenthood (summer of 2006) until the summer 2010 when the particularly analysed interviews were collected (envisioning a follow-up study again).
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