By E. Oinonen
Households in Converging Europe examines universal familial developments and ameliorations among Northern and Southern and jap and Western Europe from Sixties to early 2000s and discusses the commonest theoretical causes for convergence and divergence. The curiosity lies in macro-level social alterations and within the interrelationship among the kin and different social associations. In-depth comparability of Finnish and Spanish situations as representatives of North and South Europe presents an instance of ways macro-level adjustments impact either kin ideology and practices.
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Extra resources for Families in Converging Europe: A Comparison of Forms, Structures and Ideals (Palgrave Studies in Family Sociology)
Thus it appears that starting a family while still cohabiting is increasingly socially accepted and a common practice. On the other hand, the data also indicate that pregnancy has remained the pivotal factor affecting the decision to get married. In Southern Europe, however, marriage still precedes childbearing. It is a common understanding that most of the decline in marriage rates and the postponement of parenthood is due to increased premarital cohabitation (see, for example, Ermisch and Francesconi, 2000).
Generally speaking, in the former socialist societies, marriage and divorce law appeared liberal by Western standards during the socialist era (Pascall and Manning, 2000). Since the transition, divorce law has remained unchanged in most countries, but where amendments were adopted, they differed fundamentally. In some countries, divorce law became more conservative, such as in the Czech Republic, whereas in Estonia, the liberal law has become even more Family Patterns – Convergence or Divergence 23 relaxed.
Most of the benefits are means tested, and services are produced by the private sector. Public provision of welfare is the last resort if one cannot ‘pocket’ welfare from the markets. The third regime is the Conservative Continental regime prevailing in somewhat varying forms in continental Western Europe. Conservative Continental welfare states are characterized by their sustained adherence to familial welfare responsibilities. Yet the degree of familialism differs between continental European societies.