Sveva Magaraggia Daniela Cherubini Maria Grazia Gambardella

At close distance Family practices of Italian young adults during the pandemic

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According to David Morgan (1996), the family is never simply a manifestation of ascribed roles, social functions, or formal prescriptions: family is a «doing». Taking this assumption as a starting point, this article explores the ways of doing family of young adults living in Italy, before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on their relationships with parents and friends. The analysis is based on interviews conducted during the lockdown and the weeks that followed it (March-June 2020) with forty young women and men aged between 23 and 29, with medium to low levels of education. This sample is part of an ongoing qualitative-quantitative longitudinal study on life courses in Italy (ITA.LI Italian Lives: Longitudinal Study on Life Courses in Italy). The analysis shows how the interviewees renegotiate their affective connections, rework their practices of constructing the family and feeling at home. On the one hand, negotiations within the family of origin turned these young adults into active agents who transform their households; on the other, friends are often included in a familial semantic classification, which is pivotal to the reorganization of identity and everyday life during the pandemic


  • Covid-19
  • family practices
  • friendship
  • intergenerational relations
  • young adults


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