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Shared activities and family sociabilities. The case of confined families with children aged 6 to 12

Catherine Dessinges

Research framework: The health crisis created by Covid 19 has tremendously changed the life of French people, especially the parents with children aged under 12 who had to reorganize their family routine to reinforce the family links.
Objective: This article presents the results of research on family shared activities during the lockdown and interrogate the forms and supports taken by the family sociability in and outside the home regarding a variety of socio-economic factors.
Methodology: The study uses a mixed-type methodology combining the results of a questionary survey conducted with 1731 parents of children aged between 6 and 12, with qualitative data from 20 individual phone interviews.
Results: The results of the research reveal, because of the spatial lockdown, a great increase in shared activities between parents and children with significant variations in leisure activities in regards to the parental gender, the socio familial factors, and the employment position. Intra-family sociabilities, on the other hand, have particularly encouraged the craze for audiovisual content, while information technology has been strongly mobilized to re-establish the link outside the home.
Conclusion: On the scale of families with children aged 6 to 12, the arrival of the Covid-19 has not only disrupted but also intensified and reshaped family social dynamics, with significant variations depending on family configurations. By insuring new uses driven by the absence of physical exchanges, digital communication technologies have carried out a dual technical and social mediation, both as a tool and instrument of sociabilities.
Contribution: By providing new insights into a major global health crisis, this article aims to better understand the impact of Covid 19 on family organizations. It thus contributes to sciences of education researches but also technology uses sociology, especially among young audiences and to sociological knowledge between digital practices and family life technology articulation.