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Family display, family type, or community? Limitations in the application of a concept

Walsh, Julie; McNamee, Sally; Seymour, Julie


Julie Walsh

Sally McNamee

Julie Seymour


In this paper we develop the concept of family display by responding to David Morgan’s suggestion that researchers should consider whether ‘family displays’ are used to convey a ‘type’ of Family. We do so by applying the concept to the accounts of migrant family children living in an English city, and those of adults that grew-up in Mennonite communities in Mexico and Canada. Analysis uniquely shows that migrant family children do display a type of ‘Family’, and that this is influenced by familial constructs privileged by intended audiences. We contribute further by arguing that whilst some families do display core values attached to Family ‘types’, this is not the case in the example of the Mennonite community and researchers should be cognisant of applying this concept to all contexts. This is because the priority for display may not be the presentation of legitimate Family, but other features of collective identity.


Walsh, J., McNamee, S., & Seymour, J. (2019). Family display, family type, or community? Limitations in the application of a concept. Families, Relationships and Societies,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 2, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 4, 2019
Publication Date 2019
Deposit Date Sep 25, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 5, 2020
Journal Families, Relationships and Societies
Print ISSN 2046-7435
Publisher Policy Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Belonging; Childhood; Community, Family; Family display
Public URL


Walsh McNamee And Seymour 2019 (966 Kb)

Copyright Statement
©2019 The authors.

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