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Seminar Series: Will the 2nd Half of the Gender Revolution Strengthen the Family? Evidence from the U.S. and Sweden

Frances Goldscheider, Professor, Department of Family Science, University of Maryland
When Apr 08, 2013
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 0124B Cole Student Activities Building
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Talk

This paper proposes an interpretation of recent family trends in industrialized societies based on the two halves of the gender revolution: first in the public sphere and then in the private sphere. This interpretation is compared with the narrative associated with the second demographic transition (SDT), and I provide a partial evaluation, based on analyses of the effects of gender equality in the home on fertility and union dissolution in the US and Sweden. The theoretical foundations and implications for the future of these two approaches are considered, centering on how each views the importance of gender and intergenerational relationships in people’s lives. The SDT is shown to be based on an ideational theoretical foundation while the gender revolution is based on structural changes in gender relationships. The SDT predicts continued below replacement fertility and union instability while the gender revolution predicts stronger families with more children as the second half proceeds. The SDT considers family ties to be much less important than does the gender revolution. Although the family trends these two approaches attempt to interpret are ongoing, and a convincing view of the phenomenon as a whole (if it is a whole) has not yet emerged clearly, the gender approach seems to be the more fruitful one.

About the Speaker

Fran Goldscheider

Professor Goldscheider completed her Ph.D. in Demography from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. Her research focuses primarily on changes in living arrangements in the US and other developed countries. Her early work mapped the increase in living alone among the elderly (particularly in her 1976 papers in Demography and Journal of Marriage and Family), after which she shifted focus to the dramatic changes in the living arrangements of young adults.

Visit Professor Goldscheider's webpage

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