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 Families and Social Change Building II, Auditório B1.03

Family and gender in Europe: trends of convergence and divergence comparing countries

Several research results comparing family patterns and values in European contemporary societies lead us easily to two findings. First, gender equality values within family division of labour are clearly sustained by the majority of the Europeans while practices in the same domain point out to gender differences and inequalities.

Second, while changes in all countries have assumed the same kind of trend, from more traditional gender values towards gender equality, opening room for change in gender relations in family life, there are, more in some European countries than in others, persistent models of practice reproducing more traditional gender regimes. So, the transformations of the family in Europe follow the same patterns but in different rhythms and cultural variants.

Exploring the European Social Survey Round 2 (2004) and Round 3 (2006) data we analyse and discuss the meaning of the answers to different types of questions accessing at the same time for the differences among countries and among sexes regarding gender and family values. We argue that to understand those differences between countries we need to account for structural, institutional, cultural contexts but also to the dynamics of change in specific countries.