Nordic Centre of Excellence:
Reassessing the Nordic
Bjørn Hvinden +4722541217
Viggo Nordvik +4722541269
Mi Ah Schøyen +4722541286
Welfare regimes and parent-child relations
The strand will examine the nexus of social policy and parenthood, emphasising a multigenerational view, a life course perspective and attention to gender. The Nordic countries will be seen within a comparative perspective, drawing contrasts with countries in other welfare regimes
The strand aims to develop a conceptual model for how laws and policies shape parent-child relations in different phases of the life course. Studies of family policy, and more generally studies on the impact of welfare policies on family life, tend to focus narrowly on family formation and life of families with young children. We wish to broaden this scope, by investigating the impact of policies across the life course and across generations. Policies not only shape the legal rights and obligations that parents have towards their young children, but obligations between parents and young adult children; adult children and ageing parents. In addition, policy contexts may create different informal, subjectively experienced normative obligations. Our perspective means that we maintain a focus on “Janus-generations": adults who are both parents and children. It also means an explicit focus on the role of grandparents.
Another aim will be to provide empirical evidence of contrasts between countries. Examples of relevant questions are: how are rights and duties defined and structured? Do we have evidence that welfare models create different contexts for the maintenance of ties and the exchange of support? What kinds of interdependencies are created “up" and “down" in parent-child ties? To what extent do existing policies structure continuing engagement with adult children in their role as parents, i.e. involvement with grandchildren? Do grandparents have defined rights and duties? Do individual satisfaction with parent-child ties and personal well-being in given phases of family development vary across policy contexts? Do members of given societies have different views on how parent-child ties shape life pathways of men and women?
Leader: Gunhild Hagestad,
Professor, Agder University and Norwegian Social Research (NOVA)
E-mail: gunhild.hagestad(a)uia.no, Phone: +47 38 14 15 83