(UN)TALKING FAMILY IN DISCOURSE-DEPENDENT FAMILIES
Prof. Ann Buysse, Gent Universiteit
Ann Buysse is full professor of clinical psychology and a member of the Family Lab at Ghent University. The research group was founded about 20 years ago and has since secured a unique position with a series of studies into interpersonal influence. This central theme has been elaborated in small experiments, qualitative and quantitative studies and large-scale interdisciplinary projects with family law, sexology, bioethics, sociology and medicine. Her research focuses on mechanisms underlying the process of influence in families in topics such as adoption, blended families, families with children with disabilities, donor families, divorce, mediation, family therapy, sexual health, communication, family support, family solidarity, attachment, blue psychology, ... Projects are carried out in close collaboration with various stakeholders, with a focus on generating real world impact and societal innovations. She worked together and mentored over 20 PhD-students who kept her mind sharp and with whom she co-authored a series of publications. Her teaching assignment has long included family studies, systems therapy, and mediation, and more recently primary care. She currently is Dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences and has held various positions at both the faculty and scientific, policy or social organizations.
Inaugural lecture – February 16, 2022 - 6:00 pm (MONT10) On registration
“Until the lions have a voice, the glory of the hunt will always be the tale of the hunter” (Nigerian proverb)
Our understanding of families and the way they influence and are influenced by their members and the social context, has changed significantly over the past few decades. In the inaugural class, I will situate our understanding of families – and the interactional processes by which they shape their identity and meaning-making – within broader developments in psychology. The focus will be on cultural master narratives (e.g., the marriage plot) that make up “the family as institution”, as well as on the fluid, ambiguous “family concept” that arises when families “talk” themselves into (and out of) being. Narratives, discourses, speech and talk will play a central role as I “talk” family psychology through stories: some lived, some studied, some dominant, some mundane, some coherent, some fragmented, some consistent, some paradoxical. These stories are rooted in a variety of epistemological and methodological traditions, all of which contribute to and equally limit our understanding of families. As the story of the inaugural lecture develops, it becomes clear that a “happy ending” is only possible if the “untold” or “undertold” family narratives are also told. Not only to give a much greater diversity of discourse-dependent families a voice, but also to provide everyone with a greater arsenal of “tools for family living”.