Sibling relationships are often life’s longest-lasting social ties. Over the duration of a lifetime, a sibling can move between being a friend, foe, parental figure, or stranger to their sisters or brothers. The fluid and paradoxical qualities of sibling bonds are further complicated by age, class, disability, gender, race, and sexuality. The meanings and experiences of siblinghood change with context. Over the past three decades, this type of family relationship has attracted growing attention from scholars across disciplines. These studies on siblingship have been used to better understand the past, as well as its implications for the present and the future. This scholarship is exciting and imperative. It provides a much-needed contribution to the field of family studies, which tends to focus on parent-child bonds. However, there are still many avenues for researchers to explore related to sibling networks.
The Sibling Studies Network encourages, inter alia, those working with anthropological, educational, historical, psychological, scientific, and sociological perspectives to communicate their insights on siblingship across their disciplines, so as to enter into conversation with other approaches. Moreover, the Sibling Studies Network endeavours to be part of a wider global pursuit that seeks to bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners. As part of our initiative, we especially welcome the perspectives of practitioners from the areas of criminal justice, education, healthcare, journalism and social services. We are also open to hearing from other practice and academic areas that have an interest in sibling relationships. The Sibling Studies Network believes that multidisciplinary conversation offers great possibilities, as researchers can learn a substantial amount from the experiences of practitioners and vice versa.
By facilitating a broad conversation and the sharing of ideas between various professions and disciplines, the Sibling Studies Network will open new perspectives and more rounded understandings of siblingship. Our discussions about different aspects of siblinghood, both past and present, seek to enrich and nuance the wider field of sibling studies, as well as to improve community services and social policy.