Social milieus can be interpreted as different world views or knowledge communities, and are reproduced not only through families (as Bourdieu would argue) but can also be understood as a context that generates different understandings of family itself. The formula ‘family views equal world views’ (Tjarks, 2011) underlines this perspective and points to the social construction of the family – which will be tackled here in order to demonstrate empirically how the milieu-dependent construction of the family is closely related to different semantic notions of space.
I will first take on the question of how we can approach the family as a social construct by using the documentary method, and discuss how this methodology relates to the current discussion on communicative constructivism (see, among others, Knoblauch, 2017). The documentary method differentiates different layers of knowledge and is also aimed at analysing the communicative as the documentary knowledge of the world view. The present contribution is empirically based on a study of grandparents and their communicative production of relations between family and space (Montanari, 2016).