The purpose of this article is to highlight the importance of taking gender and generational position seriously in research on intergenerational family relations, using as illustration the association between parents' marital status and perceived quality of the relationship between parents and adult children. The data stem from the Norwegian Life-course, Generations and Gender Study (N = 15,156). Findings revealed the importance of considering who is being asked and which parent-child dyad (mother-son, mother-daughter, father-son, and father-daughter) is in question. Respondents' generational position mattered considerably. Parents perceived the relationship as more positive, compared to views of adult children. The contrast was magnified when parents were divorced. How gender mattered differed by generational position. Mothers perceived the relationship quality as higher than fathers did, whereas daughters rated the quality as lower, compared to sons. When parents were divorced, data from children showed stronger dyad contrasts than parent-derived data.
Assumptions are often made about how population ageing on the macro level has altered generational structures of families at the micro level. The purpose of this paper is to increase the awareness of challenges and potential pitfalls in bridging the two levels. To highlight these issues, two common claims found in the literature are questioned and discussed: that increased life expectancy leads to more multigenerational family structures and that reduced fertility means fewer children to care for frail parents. To illustrate, we use population statistics and survey data from selected countries.
Research on the demographic foundations of family change has drawn attention to multiple ways of how the developments in mortality, fertility and related processes produce major shifts in the family structures. The present study, conducted in the framework of FP7 Multilinks project, aims to complement research on the topic by analyzing the data from the Generations and Gender Survey for seven countries of Europe. In the study, the evidence concerning availability of kin above (parents and grandparents) and below (children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren) the reference generation is combined to highlight the patterns of family structure in which individuals are embedded at various stages of the life course. The results cast light on the ways how the existing diversity in demographic regimes comes together into specific patterns of intergenerational structures across Europe. The analysis reveals that the patterning of these structures is not always straightforward. The variation in generational distance set by the timing of childbearing, and differential advances in longevity produce combinations that may leave the countries with highly contrasting demographic history with a closely similar vertical “depth” of the family constellation. The results also indicate a possibility that under certain demographic scenarios, the secular trends towards vertical extension of the family constellation may become to a halt or even reverse temporarily.
Vikat, A. and Beets, G. and Billari, F. and Bühler, C. and Corijn, M. and Désesquelles, A. and Fokkema, T. and MacDonald, A. L. and Neyer, G. and Pailhé, A. and Pinnelli, A. and Solaz, A. and Spéder, Z.
The Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) is one of the two pillars of the Generations and Gender Programme designed to improve understanding of demographic and social development and of the factors that influence these developments. This article describes how the theoretical perspectives applied in the survey, the survey design and the questionnaire are related to this objective. The key features of the survey include panel design, multidisciplinarity, comparability, context-sensitivity, inter-generational and gender relationships. The survey applies the life course approach, focussing on the processes of childbearing, partnership dynamics, home leaving, and retiring. The selection of topics for data collection mainly follows the criterion of theoretically grounded relevance to explaining one or more of the mentioned processes. A large portion of the survey deals with economic aspects of life, such as economic activity, income, and economic well-being; a comparably large section is devoted to values and attitudes. Other domains covered by the survey include gender relationships, household composition and housing, residential mobility, social networks and private transfers, education, health, and public transfers. The third chapter of the article describes the motivations for their inclusion. The GGS questionnaire is designed for a face-to-face interview. It includes the core that each participating country needs to implement in full, and four optional sub-modules on nationality and ethnicity, on previous partners, on intentions of breaking up, and on housing, respectively. The participating countries are encouraged to include also the optional sub-modules to facilitate comparative research on these topics.
A hundred years after Durkheim stated that “individuals are more important than things” in reference to patrimony in the family and marriage, this assertion became common sense. Today, in the aftermath of the 1960’s, it is perfectly established that emotions are the cornerstone of family and marriage, although it is true that other material and symbolic goods circulate and are managed in these areas. In this article, the author tries to understand how precisely these many logics are articulated and managed – feelings and affections, material resources, identities, personal achievements, expectations – in conjugal life. Cent ans après que Durkheim ait affirmé que “les idnividus sont plus importants que les choses”, le problème du patrimoine dans le contexte de la famille et du mariage étant sous-jacent, cette affirmation est devenue courante. Actuellement il est certain, et cela très clairement à partir des années 60, que les affects représentent la pierre fondamentale en ce qui concerne le mariage et la famille, même si d’autres biens matériels et symboliques entrent également en jeu. Dans cet article, on essaie de percevoir de manière plus précise comment ces diverses logiques – sentiments et affects, gestion des ressources, identités, épanouissement personnel, projections pour l’avenir, attentes – entrent en jeu et sont articulées dans la vie conjugale. Cem anos depois de Durkheim ter afirmado que “os indivíduos são mais importantes do que as coisas”, tendo subjacente a questão do patrimônio no contexto da família e do casamento, a afirmação tornou-se um lugar comum. Hoje está perfeitamente estabelecido, e de forma bem mais explícita a partir dos anos 60, que os afetos são a pedra de toque essencial do que circula no casamento e na família, embora também aí circulem e sejam geridos outros bens materiais e simbólicos. Neste artigo, procura- se perceber precisamente como se jogam e se articulam essas diversas lógicas – sentimentos e afetos, gestão de recursos, identidades, realização pessoal, projeções sobre o futuro, expectativas – na vida conjugal.