Four Essays on Family Life Events

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

As demographic and social trends continue to change the institution of the family, a need to reconsider the study family life events as they unfold over the life course has emerged. To advance current knowledge of social dynamics associated with this new complexity, the point of departure of the present thesis is the way in which individual, social, and institutional contexts shape family life events. The main objective of the present thesis is twofold: to highlight the importance of how family life events are theoretically understood and methodologically approached, and to examine why social differentiation in family life events persists across institutional settings and over time. Specifically, from a life course perspective and by means of dynamic quantitative methods, three central themes are investigated: a) the importance of children’s characteristics, b) the need to link family contexts and institutional settings, and c) the significance of the interconnectedness of family life events across life domains and over time.
Taken together the analyses included in the present thesis combine the need to understand conditions and consequences of contemporary family life with a renewed attention to the social mechanisms associated with social differentiation. One contribution of the present thesis is that it highlights the need for family research in general, and Danish family studies in particular, to pay greater theoretical and methodological attention to the dynamic nature of family life events. In addition, the present thesis underlines the need for an improved understanding of the role of health and caregiving as fundamental aspects of family life, and in doing so allocates increased attention to how children’s characteristics are central to family-level outcomes. Just as the lives of family members are lived interdependently, so too are events in one life domain interconnected with the absence or presence of events and transitions in other life domains. Thus, in order advance knowledge on family life and behavior, multiple family life events must be considered simultaneously, in a dynamic framework, and over time.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherDepartment of Sociology, University of copenhagen
ISBN (Print)9788776116729
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ID: 108083404