The Politics of Family Secrecy

Every family has a skeleton in the closet, or so the saying goes. A dubious deed or a disgracing detail that is kept under wraps through more or less elaborate practices of secrecy. But what does this convey about the family and its relationship to society or the state? And how might a historical perspective help us better understand the nexus between private and public management of knowledge in contemporary society?

In this blog we share ideas and reflections emerging from our research on “The Politics of Family Secrecy” project. The blog posts examine: 1) how families have handled knowledge about social taboos associated with a family member, 2) how public authorities and professionals have encouraged or thwarted secrecy and 3) how family secrecy practices might have affected broader social, political and legal developments, and vice versa.

For more information on the project and our specific case studies, please go to: https://familysecrecy.ku.dk/