“Juntos pero no revueltos”: Family residential dependence and care vulnerabilities along the life course

Consuelo Araos*, Catalina Siles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In the study of family residential dependence, Latin American literature has focused on coresidence and explained its relationship with care vulnerability trajectories in terms of the survival strategies of the poor. This approach implies the hypothesis of a substitution mechanism between family and paid care. However, this represents an incomplete picture of residential dependence in this context. Based on the contributions of three theoretical approaches—residential proximity, family configurations, and life course—and data from an ethnographic study carried out in Santiago, Chile, between 2006 and 2015, we analyze the relationship between family residential dependence configurations and care among individuals belonging to professional middle- and upper-class kinship groups. First, we show that residential dependence may occur between non-coresident individuals, mainly through quasi-coresidence and recohabitation practices. This allows individuals to remain rooted in a multigenerational network of interdependence throughout the life course at all socioeconomic levels, what the interviewees in the study called the “together but not mixed” ideal. Second, although a significant part of the residential interdependence is articulated around daily intergenerational care practices, we propose an alternative explanatory model based on the redundancy hypothesis, where the family solution to care vulnerabilities is generally preferred even when non-family care alternatives are available. The relationship between family members’ care needs and residential dependence mechanisms cannot be reduced to economic deficits or strategic responses. Such needs participate in a structure of care preferences linked to culturally defined kinship styles, where frequent co-presence solidarity predominates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100404
JournalAdvances in Life Course Research
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Care vulnerabilities
  • Ethnography
  • Latin America
  • Life course
  • Quasi-coresidence
  • Recohabitation
  • Residential dependence
  • Urban families


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