INTIMATE <br>Citizenship, Care and Choice: The Micropolitics of Intimacy in Southern Europe

Citizenship, Care and Choice: The Micropolitics of Intimacy in Southern Europe

1 de março de 2014 a 28 de fevereiro de 2019
60 meses

Changes in personal life in recent decades illustrate significant socio-cultural transformations. However, the focus of mainstream sociological literature has been the heterosexual, monogamous and reproductive couple, with little research exploring non-conventional intimacy in Southern Europe. INTIMATE’s main aim is to contribute to legal, policy and cultural innovation through the findings of a comparative, empirically-grounded, research project designed to rethink citizenship, care and choice from the point of view of non-standard intimacies (Berlant and Warner, 2000) in three contrasting Southern European countries: Italy, Portugal and Spain.
Guided by the fundamental sociological question of how change takes place and, concomitantly, how law and social policy adjust to and/or shape the practices and expectations of individuals concerning personal life, this research will address intimacy from the perspective of those on the margins of social, legal and policy concerns in Southern Europe – lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people.
INTIMATE is based on 3 strands – Strand 1: the micropolitics of partnering; Strand 2: the micropolitics of parenting; and Strand 3: the micropolitics of friendship. The notion of micropolitics enables a double focus on everyday practices and expectations (biographic dimension) within the wider contextual framework of law and social policy (socio-legal dimension).
This qualitative research involves conducting 6 cross-national qualitative studies across the strands of partnering, parenting and friendship in each of the chosen countries. The topics covered are lesbian coupledom, polyamorous relationships, assisted conception and surrogacy, naming a child, transgender and care, and living with friends in adult life.
Expected results include a range of both international and national publications targeting academia and beyond, thematic conferences and participatory workshops, policy briefs, media briefs and an interactive website.


Highlighting the significance of a range of diverse personal and family models, INTIMATE’s findings will impact on current legal, policy and cultural frameworks in Italy, Portugal and Spain. In order to enhance general public impact, there will be several moments and strategies for on-going exchange and dissemination to various audiences, including thematic conferences, regular policy briefs for NGO activists and policymakers, media briefs for journalists and an interactive website targeting a general audience which will be regularly updated with preliminary results on each strand, as well as additional information, questions and analytical insights. Dissemination will also include media channels such as social networks and non-mainstream media.

As for academic impact, the team will publish one single authored, theoretical book, one co-authored book by the PI and all researchers, and 3 edited books or special issues of peer-reviewed international journals. INTIMATE will produce media and policy briefs, including good practices in policymaking, major empirical outcomes and the political implications of the findings and recommendations.

intimate citizenship, family, sexuality, social policies, southern europe, LGBT
European Research Council