Dr Gaelle Aeby

Honorary Research Fellow

Full contact details
View graph of relations


I am a post-doctoral researcher at the Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives. My main research interests lie in personal networks and kin and non-kin relationships, youth, life trajectories, critical life transitions and their rituals, as well as institutions and welfare state regimes framing personal life. I also have a strong interest in innovative research designs combining quantitative and qualitative methods.


I was awarded a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation for the period from January 2016 to June 2017 to conduct a study on the recomposition of personal networks after an intimate relationship breakdown and separation rituals in the UK and in Switzerland.


Current study: "Overcoming separation: Separation rituals and the roles of friends and family"

Nowadays, the event of an intimate relationship breakdown has become more likely to happen at least once over the life course of most individuals. This research aims to understand the consequences and new meanings of separation. Separation has many consequences for an individual’s personal life and especially on their personal networks of friends and family, as couples tend to share the same network. How do personal networks change after a separation? On whom can you truly count? As individuals want to move on with their lives, many may feel the need to mark the end of the relationship by inviting supportive friends for an intimate dinner, throwing a post-divorce party, doing a personal ritual, starting a new hobby, organizing a housewarming party in their new home, etc. What do people do to mark their separation and make sense of it?

Participation in the study: If you have been through a separation from a partner with whom you lived for at least six months (married or not) in the past three years, we are interested in your experience. By participating in this study and sharing your experience, you will contribute to a better understanding of the consequences and meanings of separation. Your interview will be totally anonymous and confidential.

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2015 - Doctor of Social Science, Is blood still thicker than water? A life-course perspective on the transformation of family and friends' roles in personal networks, Universite de Lausanne (University of Lausanne) (2011 - 2015)
  • Master of Social Science Universite de Geneve (University of Geneva) (2006 - 2008)

Related information