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TransNorm is a research project on the reception and perception of same-sex families in different institutional contexts.
The study is funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship and conducted by Tanja Vuckovic Juros at Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium.
TransNorm research project examines transformations of family norms through cross-border exposure to different family models. It focuses on the LGBT migrants from selected Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries with a constitutional same-sex marriage ban (Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary), but who now live in same-sex families in Belgium or in the Netherlands, the first two countries to legalize same-sex marriage and adoption.
This case study explores how intercultural contact can improve reception of an institutional innovation such as same-sex family. This project is based on in-depth interviews with two groups sustaining ties across borders: (1) the CEE gays and lesbians in same-sex marriage or raising children with a same-sex partner in Belgium or in the Netherlands, and (2) their non-migrant family members, friends and neighbours in home communities.
Migrant transnationalism scholars have established that migrants can effect change in their home communities not only by sending remittances, but also by transferring ideas and practices (social remittances). But empirical investigations of this phenomenon are still scarce, and typically focus on democratic ideas and practices. In a novel approach, the present study will analyse social remittances by examining cross-cultural effects of the institutional innovation of same-sex family, and it will further position its findings into the wider framework of social change analysis.
In light of the European Parliament's recent decision to include LGBT and same-sex families' rights into the new EU gender equality strategy, the study's conclusions will also inform relevant policy strategies.
Presentation 'Balancing the Personal and the Public across Borders: How LGB Migrants Manage ‘Otherness’ in Different Institutional Contexts', ESA Midterm Conference: Theoretical and empirical reflections on social disorganisation and “otherness” in modern European societies. Łódź, Poland
Workshop 'Emotionality and Moral Struggles of Everyday Life: The Case of Transnational Families of Same-Sex Partners', IUC Course ‘Social Work & Social Policies‘ - Politics of intersectionality and emotions, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Organization of the international conference: The Political in the Personal: Families and Sexualities in Times of Social Change in Europe, with Ken Plummer and Judit Takács as keynote speakers.
Presentation 'The Burden of the Blank Slate. Reflecting on the Methodological Challenges of an Outsider', 2nd European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, Leuven, Belgium
Presentation 'The Promise of Transnational Europe for the LGB Migrants: The Management of Stigmatized Identities and the Transformation of Family Norms', European Sociological Association's conference, Athens, Greece