Troubling the normative scripts of adulthood: An anti-narrative performance of intergenerational cohabitation

PhD Thesis


Halliwell, Sherree Dawn. 2022. Troubling the normative scripts of adulthood: An anti-narrative performance of intergenerational cohabitation. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/q7vx1
Title

Troubling the normative scripts of adulthood: An anti-narrative performance of intergenerational
cohabitation

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorHalliwell, Sherree Dawn
Supervisor
1. FirstProf Andrew Hickey
2. SecondA/Pr Annette Bromdal
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages407
Year2022
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/q7vx1
Abstract

Two intersecting social phenomena - the Western world’s aging population and affordable housing shortage - have led to a rise in intergenerational cohabitation over the past three decades. Compounded by the neo-liberal retrenchment of the welfare state, a privatised family care economy has emerged. In consideration of such a climate, this research examines the place and dynamics of the intergenerational, cohabiting family and problematises societal narratives that cast cohabiting adult children as ‘failure to launch’ and ‘boomerang.’ Accordingly, a central concern of this research is the identity formation of emerging adults (Arnett, 2000) and what I term re-emerging adults. Seeking to build on the seminal works of (dis)ability and queer theorists, Amy Kilgard (2009), Kathryn Bond Stockton (2009), Elizabeth Freeman (2010), Jack (Judith) Halberstam (2005; 2011; 2014), and Judith Butler (1990; 1993), I bring (dis)ability and queer theory into dialogue with two key evolving sociological concepts: Arnett’s (2000) emerging adulthood; and the hegemonic neo-liberal construct of the grand narrative of upwards growth. In so doing, I reframe (chrono)normative, linear, accumulative and gendered discourses surrounding the liminal period of young adult identity development at macro (structural), meso (family) and micro (individual) levels (Connidis, 2015). I reveal ambivalences (Lüscher and Pillemer, 1998) that are generated and experienced by cohabiting parent/adult child families, and discuss the strategies used to negotiate them. To achieve these aims, this research deploys an anti-narrative approach; a relatively new approach that holds significant utility for studies of this type.

KeywordsQueer, intergenerational cohabitation, ethnography, anti-narrative, ambivalence
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020441009. Sociology of family and relationships
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Humanities and Communication
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