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The forced return of young people: a stay with their parents

Sandra Gaviria

Research framework: The article explores the feelings of young people who have no other choice but to return to their parents’ home. We question their relationship to the family and to private space in this new re-cohabitation. These relationships will be considered as analyzers of their individualization process, which can be defined through two dimensions: autonomy – the ability to give oneself one’s own law – and independence – the capacity to obtain one’s own resources (de Singly, 2000).

Objectives: The purpose of this article is to analyze the evolution of the feeling of “home” when young people, after having experienced an autonomous and/or independent life, are forced by the material or psychological conditions of their existence to return to live with their parents.

Methodology: The survey consisted of 57 semi-structured interviews with young people who had returned to live with their families.

Results: We will examine the profile of young people who have been forced to return, the resistance in front of this return, often lived as a failure. We will also analyze the negotiations in the family life to preserve a personal identity and their individualization while having statutory consideration from their parents.

Conclusions: The conclusion will allow us to highlight the existing links between individualization and the feeling towards the parents’ housing.

Contribution: This research highlights the fact that the feeling of home towards the parents’ home is an analyzer of the greater or lesser autonomy acquired by the young person throughout his or her life. Before the first move away from parents’ home, young people seek autonomy in living together and appropriate their personal space. On the contrary, when the return is forced, young people do not have and do not wish to have a sense of home. They try to maintain their individualization through a very limited investment in the appropriation of the family home space.