Jacqueline Scott - Conflicting Family Interests: A Challenge for Family Policy - 19 maart 2014

About the lecture

We live in extraordinary times of change, including huge change in family life.  In Europe, there has been a continuing movement towards greater diversity in family forms.  The rise of cohabitation, same sex marriage, single-parent families, non-marital childbearing, divorce, and child-free unions  make reference to a notion of ‘the family’ inappropriate.  The nuclear family with a traditional gender division of labour is no longer the norm.   A ‘family kaleidoscope’ is a better image because family life reflects the complexities and overlaps between areas such as the economy, the labour market, unpaid housework, and family care and how intersections across such domains change over time.    In my paper I focus on the crucial interlinks between family members in terms of changing norms in partnerships and parenting. The paper has three parts.   First I discuss how partnerships and parenting are informed by changing gender roles.  I examine gender role change in terms of both public attitudes and  work-family conflict.  Second, I explore the evidence on changes in parenting across time, with reference to young children and adolescents.   Third, I bring together these gender and generational perspectives to examine how family life can impinge on the wellbeing of different family members.  In the conclusion, I argue that the various interests of family members can conflict in a way that poses challenges for contemporary family policy.   Welfare systems were originally based on the assumption of a stable family and a gendered division of labour.  Such assumptions are clearly problematic.  It is therefore a contentious issue as to how family policy can best support partnerships and parenting.          

About the speaker

Jacqueline Scott is Professor of Empirical Sociology, Faculty of Politics, Psychology, Sociology and International Studies, Queens’ College, Cambridge.

From 2004-2010 she was the Director of the ESRC Research Priority Network on Gender Inequalities in Production and Reproduction. This is the largest research multi-disciplinary network of its kind in the UK.  She co-ordinates projects across eight institutions that are investigating different aspects of the way women’s and men’s roles and lifestyles have changed.  Her research interests focus particularly on gender inequalities and changing gender roles; changing family and household structures; inter-generational relations; generational shifts in attitudes and behaviours and  life course processes.    


Language: English

When:  Woensdag 19 maart 2014, 19:00u-21:00u

Location: Stadscampus Universiteit Antwerpen - Hof van Liere - Prinsstraat 13 - 2000 Antwerpen

Regsitration:  registration is free of charge. Online registration is mandatory