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Coordinated by Livia Sz. Oláh (Stockholm University), in collaboration with:

Fabrizio Bernardi (European University Institute, Fiesole), Daniela Del Boca (University of Turin), Pearl Dykstra (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Andreas Edel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research / Population Europe), Amparo González-Ferrer (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid), Juho Härkönen (Stockholm University), Barbara Hobson (Stockholm University), Kasia Karpinska (Erasmus University Rotterdam), Irena Elżbieta Kotowska (Warsaw School of Economics SGH), Hill Kulu (University of Liverpool), Melinda Mills (University of Oxford), Chiara Monfardini (University of Bologna), Dimitri Mortelmans (University of Antwerp), Gerda Neyer (Stockholm University), Ariane Pailhé (Institut national d’études démographiques), Dimiter Philipov (Austrian Academy of Sciences/ Vienna Institute of Demography), Rudolf Richter (University of Vienna), Bernhard Riederer (Austrian Academy of Sciences / Vienna Institute of Demography), Maria Letizia Tanturri (University of Padova), Olivier Thévenon (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD, Paris), James W. Vaupel (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research) and a consortium of 25 research partners and 3 transnational civil society actor partners.

The Work Package 12 of the project FamiliesAndSocieties, in charge of dissemination activities, was led by Population Europe and coordinated by Daniela Vono de Vilhena (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research/Population Europe).


FamiliesAndSocieties – Changing families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations

FamiliesAndSocieties aimed to investigate the diversity of family forms, relationships and life courses in Europe, to assess the compatibility of existing policies with these changes, and to contribute to evidence-based policy making. The consortium brought together 25 leading universities and research institutes from 15 European countries, three transnational civil society actors and a large number of national and international stakeholders.

The points of departure for the project were that family life courses are becoming more complex and diverse, that individuals’ lives are interdependent - linked within and across generations - and that individual life courses are shaped by social contexts and policies. Four transversal dimensions were integrated into the project: gender, culture (ethnic, migrant and cultural identities, sexual orientation), socioeconomic resources, and life stages.

The project had four main objectives: to explore the growing complexity of family configurations and transitions across and within European societies; to examine their implications for children, women and men with respect to inequalities in life chances, intergenerational relations and care arrangements; to investigate how policies address family diversity and its consequences; and to identify likely paths of future changes in family compositions and related policy needs.

The approach was multidisciplinary, combining a wide range of expertise in social sciences, law and the humanities, represented in the consortium. Comparative analyses were applied and advanced quantitative methods to high quality register and survey data used. Moreover, qualitative studies were conducted. The project developed two databases, one on the legal content of family forms available in European countries, and another on EC/EU initiatives in core family-policy areas during the last decades.

The project was organized into 12 work packages including management and dissemination activities. Substantive work packages address family configurations, new gender roles, the new role of children and assisted reproductive technology, inequalities in children’s life chances, childcare arrangements, intergenerational links, social inclusion/exclusion of migrants, policies and diversity over the life course, and foresight, synthesis and policy implications. All major European regions are represented in the project governance. Together with various stakeholders, government agencies, national and local policy makers, nongovernmental organisations and additional members of the scientific community across Europe, the project will identify and disseminate innovation and best policy practices.

The collaborative research project was launched in February 1, 2013 and ended in January 31, 2017.

The project was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement n° 320116.

For more information, please consult the Project Website or the EU CORDIS website

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