Love will keep us apart? :understanding living apart together partnerships in the post-state-socialist Czech Republic
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Living apart together (LAT) relationships are under-researched in European sociology and overlooked in Czech sociology. Based on data from 16 biographical interviews with partners living in separate households, this analysis focuses on how LAT is experienced, understood, and explained in the context of the post-state-socialist Czech Republic. Do LAT partners actively choose LAT to avoid or subvert the norm of co-residence? Or do they frame their situation as a result of external constraints and pressures? What is the role of gender norms and of the gendering of a life course in the LAT experience? Our results show the high value that current Czech society continues to place on co-residential partnerships. The study also shows that persistent gender and social inequalities, specifi c for the post state-socialist Czech Republic, make individual choices more diffi cult or impossible in both private life arrangements and when combining private life with work. A LAT partnership is not always the result of individual choices, but the relationship often is shaped by external structural and institutional pressures and gendered norms.