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Title“Sociology of families and intimate lives” (RN13)
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The Interim Meeting

of the Research Network “Sociology of families and intimate lives” (RN13)

of European Sociological Association (ESA)

September 25-27, 2014

Mykolas Romeris University

Ateities str. 20, Vilnius, Lithuania


Numerous sociological studies conducted during the last decades have revealed an increased

diversity and de-standardization of family forms and configurations, family formation patterns and

inter-relations among its members. These changes are so evident and dramatic, that occasionally

even the question has been raised whether family as a social institution still exists. Until today in

many European countries we observe ongoing trends, e.g. of decreasing marriage and / or birth

rates, of increasing divorces and remarriages, of postponement of family formation to later stages in

the life course.

At the same time researchers observe continuity and, especially in Northern Europe, even trends’

reversals. Traditional patterns of the division of paid and unpaid work within couples, for example,

are visible everywhere, even if on gradually more subtle levels. The desire to live in a stable

partnership and the motivation to have children remain high. The family still is considered one of

the most important values and life spheres.

Continuity and change - we find both at the same time. So, questions arise: how much continuity do

we observe? Where do we observe change and why? How can the observed change / continuity be

explained at a global, social group or individual level? How can we explain asynchrony of

developments between the European countries / regions? How can and should we identify and

measure the change / continuity? Are we over- or under- estimating the degree of change due to a

lack of appropriate methods?

Scientific Committee: Isabella Crespi, Detlev Lück, Gerardo Meil, Giovanna Rossi,

Eric D. Widmer, Anna-Maija Carstén, Vida Česnuitytė, Esther Dermott

Local Organizers: Vida Kanopienė, Vida Česnuitytė

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