9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives

2009-09-03 13:30:00 2009-09-03 15:00:00 Thursday, 3 September 13:30 - 15:00 Individualization and Family Practices Building II, Auditório B1.04 2009-09-05 15:30:00 2009-09-05 17:00:00 Saturday, 5 September 15:30 - 17:00 POSTER SESSION Building II, Auditório C1.04

Lodging forms along life cycles: a comparative view across the Europe

This presentation intend to develop a comparative perspective on a European scale, looking at the changes observed in housing forms along life experiences, and ascertaining how they interact with social and economic conditions, cultural differences, and institutional contexts. Social recomposition is a fundamental element of these processes of change. It includes very important aspects of recomposition from the geographical and age-group points of view: longer life spans, alterations in the relative weight of the various age brackets, urbanisation, and national and international mobility and migration. It also includes profounds and comprehensives educational, occupational, socio-economic and socio-cultural recompositions that are taking place, with great intensity, in the different European countries and in the EU as a whole. By crossing indicators regarding household units, family forms and economic and educational recourses, we attempt to construct a sociological "portrait" of lodging organization throughout life cycles. One of the main evidence points out is that reversibility and uncertainties of housing conditions are experiences that are drawn out even during later phases of life.

We based our analyses on the assumption that housing is one of the key dimensions of an individual´s material position and quality of life. Just think that the in the dominant ideas on the "family" and "family living", the household unit emerges as a key descriptive, from which we represent all the social imagery that is - to override itself as fact - the social reality of those elements. In the social perceptions connection to a residence or a "home" or "having a home" determines the very possibility of intimacy and private life - at least in its more permanent form in time.

This communication elapses from a study undertaken within CIES-ISCTE, supported by The Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology, during preparation of a PhD degree.