XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology, Sociology on the move, Gothenburg, Sweden, July 2010


RC homepage


Research Committee on
Family Research RC06


Programme Coordinators
Rudy R. Seward, University of North Texas, USA, rudy.seward@unt.edu
Ria Smit, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, rsmit@uj.ac.za

Congress Programme

Sessions descriptions

Session 1: East Asian families in comparative perspectives
Organizer: Chin-chun Yi, Institute of Sociology, Taiwan, chinyi@gate.sinica.edu.tw
An invited panel of China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan research teams will present findings of the East Asian Social Survey (EASS).  EASS is designed to conduct survey every two years in four East Asian societies, and the first survey in 2006 selected “Family” as the subject.  Using similar research framework, these huge datasets now released to the public provide the best opportunity for researchers interested in family changes and family transition in this region.  The panel will present comparative analyses on family value, mating process, conjugal interaction as well as intergenerational relations.  Specific questionnaire components and access to the dataset will also be introduced in the session.

Session 2: Intergenerational relationships of families in a worldwide perspective
Organizer: Bernhard Nauck, Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany, bernhard.nauck@phil.tu-chemnitz.de
Session dedicated to understanding the different patterns of intergenerational relationships in a cross-national and cross-cultural perspective. The focus will be on a dynamic perspective across the life course, with an emphasis on intergenerational relationships from early adulthood onwards.

Session 3: Gender equality and family transitions
Joint session of RC06 Family Research [host committee] and RC32 Women in Society

Session 4: Business Meeting

Session 5: Meet the family scholar: Poster session
Organizer: Barbara H. Settles, University of Delaware, USA, settlesb@UDel.Edu and Tessa LeRoux, Lasell College, USA, tleroux@lasell.edu
Session will include papers submitted directly to the organizers and surplus quality papers passed on by organizers from other sessions. Scholars will briefly present their findings to small groups of rotating conference participants.  Posters will stay on display after the session for the remainder of the conference. A detailed poster display of research and/or program must be prepared. Early career scholars are especially encouraged to submit papers.  Display specifications will be available later.

Session 6: Family life education and prevention
Organizer: Barbara H. Settles, University of Delaware, USA, settlesb@UDel.Edu
Family life education and prevention has become widely evaluated and found to be highly useful in a number of areas related to the sociology of family including parenting outreach for drug, tobacco and alcohol prevention, conflict resolution and mediation with youth and couples, child abuse and domestic violence prevention and remediation, chronic illness and encouraging family resiliency, sexuality education, financial intervention, long term planning and risk assessment. New models for evaluation include process, qualitative and more conventional quantitative and outcome oriented studies have deepened the understanding family life education in the process of family life. Papers may also address the theoretical concepts and models of family life education or look at the interface with other institutions such as schools, health providers, legal institutions and government. Some interventions have also been found to be less efficacious than originally believed and should be replaced with better programming and papers that address this issue would be welcome.

Session 7: Linking family patterns with Diaspora relations and mobility
Organizer: Sergio DellaPergola, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, sergioa@huji.ac.il
Papers in this session will examine how family trends - namely marriage patterns, endogamy/exogamy, fertility, and household arrangements - develop among people relating to the same worldwide scattered population. A central question is whether more commonalities can be detected within a given Diaspora regardless of space, or more similarities tend to emerge with the respective and different local environments in the current countries of residence. Relevant commonalities across scattered populations may refer to countries of origin, ethnic identities, religions, linguistic background, and the like. Another aspect would be to look at changing family patterns, within and across generations, following migration among such dispersed populations. Quite a few interesting examples can be researched in the context of growing transnationalism, multilocalism, and the emerging relations between core-countries and the respective Diasporas.

Session 8: Marriage, non-marital cohabitation and other dyadic relationships
Organizer: Jan Trost, Uppsala University, Sweden, jan.trost@soc.uu.se
Research on dyadic relationships for a long time reflected only marriage. Four decades ago non-marital cohabitation became as a social institution and about quarter of a century ago living apart relationships (LAT) became also a social institution. These relationships were only looked upon as opposite gender dyads. Later also same gender couples came to be both more visible and foci for studies.
Empirical and theoretical papers that address any aspect of more or less stable dyadic relationships are invited for this session. Possible topics include anything “marriage-like” and also other relationships of importance for those involved as well as for sociological and social psychological interest.  Presentations that include diversity by gender, ethnicity, social class, generations, and nations for one or more of these topics are especially welcome.

Session 9: Multiracial/ethnic families
Organizers: Cynthia M. Cready, University of North Texas, USA, cready@unt.edu and George Yancey, University of North Texas, USA, George.yancey@unt.edu
Empirical and theoretical papers that address any aspect of multiracial/ethnic families are invited for this session. Possible topics include: attitudes toward racial/ethnic dating and intermarriage and multiracial/ethnic families; trends in racial/ethnic dating and intermarriage; individual- and community-level effects on racial/ethnic dating and intermarriage; the impact of racial/ethnic dating and intermarriage on other aspects of individual and community life; representations of multiracial/ethnic families in the media; interracial/ethnic adoption; socialization in multiracial/ethnic families; racial/ethnic identity of children from multiracial/ethnic families; identity issues among adults in multiracial/ethnic families; developmental outcomes of children from multiracial/ethnic families; theoretical and methodological approaches and challenges to the study of multiracial/ethnic families; and the interaction of social policy and multiracial/ethnic families.

Session 10: Men, work and parenting
Joint Session of RC06 Family Research [host committee] and RC30 Sociology of Work

Session 11: Family and elder care
Organizer: Cynthia M. Cready, University of North Texas, USA, cready@unt.edu
Empirical and theoretical papers that address any aspect of family and elder care invited for this session.  Possible topics include: becoming a caregiver; types and levels of elder care and support from family members; elder perceptions of family-produced care; the effects of caring for an elder family member on the health and well-being, relationships, work, and financial situation of the caregiver; consequences of changing family structure for elder care; racial/ethnic, gender, and/or social class differences in family-produced elder care;  connections between family-produced and non-family-produced elder care; transitions from family-produced to non-family-produced elder care,  and the impact of social policies on family-produced elder care.

Session 12: Changing Asian families I: Evidence and logic
Organizers: Emiko Ochiai, Kyoto University, Japan, emikoo2@aol.com
Everybody will agree that families are changing in Asia as they have gone through dramatic economic changes. However, nobody can tell for sure the direction of change. Are they following the paths that European and North American families took? Or, are they creating their own way(s)? We cannot even assume that there is a common trend all over the area.
The purpose of this session is to collect empirical evidence on various aspects of family change from various parts of Asia and find out the logics behind them to construct a theory of family change in non-Western societies. The major hypotheses about “modernity and the family,” such as nuclearization of the family, housewifization and de-housewifization of women, and the transformation of intimacy will be challenged by the works done in Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, India, Turkey, etc.         
The topics to be covered are, for example, gender role changes, changes in intergenerational relationship, providers of childcare and elderly care, social networks of the family, singlehood, divorce, extramarital relationship, transnational families, dependence on domestic workers, changes in family values, etc. The papers discussing these topics relating to broader social contexts, such as the development or non-development of welfare state, the effects of globalization and economic crisis, the gain and loss of demographic dividend, will be most welcome.          

Session 13: Methods in family research
Organizer: Johanna Lammi-Taskula, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland, johanna.lammi-taskula@thl.fi
In studying families and family relations, both structural, cultural, social and individual perspectives are needed. Thus, various kinds of methods are used and also new ones need to be developed. In addition to the most common quantitative and qualitative methods (such as survey and interview), also visual and narrative methods (using videos, photographs, diaries, stories, media materials etc) have become more popular. In the session, experiences and challenges of using different methods in family research will be discussed.

Session 14: Family and society
Organizer: Marc Szydlik, University of Zurich, Switzerland, szydlik@soziologie.uzh.ch
Families are affected by diverse societal factors, for example, political regulations, economic conditions and cultural norms. The welfare state and the labour market, as well as religious rules have an effect on families. Demographic change, globalisation and flexibilisation provide further new challenges for partnerships and intergenerational relations. In turn, families influence cultural-contextual structures. Politicians react to new family forms, laws are discussed and adapted in response to developments in family patterns, and social stratification is not least due to lifelong transfers from parents to children. In fact, there is a precarious relationship between family solidarity and social inequality.
This session is concerned with the complex interactions between families on the one hand and societal factors on the other – regarding all kinds of family relations over the life course. This applies to marriage and divorce, relations between spouses and partners, fertility and care as well as to intergenerational solidarity and conflict.
Questions include: what connections can be identified between fertility and political regulations? To what extent are marriages and divorces influenced by societal norms and legal conditions? How do cultural values affect family decisions, and in what way do new family forms challenge general conventions? What are significant links between intergenerational solidarity and social stratification? Does the state displace family services (“crowding out”), stimulate family commitment (“crowding in”), or is there a “complementarity” of the two sources of support? The session may include presentations focusing on specific regions or countries as well as interregional and international comparisons.

Session 15: Families in developing countries
Organizer: Ria Smit, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, rsmit@uj.ac.za
Although families across the world are confronted with life challenges, families in developing countries may experience some of these challenges more acutely. Poverty; globalization; political turmoil; health epidemics and demographic changes are but a few aspects which may have an impact on family life in these countries. Confronted with the challenges of living in societies in transformation, the question arises as to how families are living up to these challenges and how it impacts family dynamics. Papers focusing on family life in the developing world are invited for this session. 

Session 16: Children, parents and public policy
Organizers: Claude Martin, University of Rennes, France, CMartin@ensp.fr and Rudy Ray Seward, University of North Texas, USA, seward@unt.edu           ;
A significant part of sociological academic knowledge has been devoted to childcare policies in the past decade and to the challenge of work/life or work/family balance. Not forgetting this important aspect, we would like to discuss in this session the normative relationships between public authorities and parents. In some countries, it has to do with the supervision and control of their practices, the development of specific knowledge concerning the “good” parental role (motherhood and fatherhood), the development of many controversial results and ideas that consider parents guilty of the behaviour of their children, and also expertise that seek to detect maladjusted behaviour among very young children in order to prevent delinquency . Papers dealing with the evolution of these parental role and practises, and more generally about childhood, motherhood, fatherhood, parenting, and parent-child relations are also welcome.

Session 17: Families and memories. Par I
Organizer: Irene Levin, Oslo University College, Norway, Irene.Levin@sam.hio.no
Families construct memories as well as memories constitute families. Memories centre around events experienced from birth to death. Memory is how the person experiences and interprets events. It can be either shared by other family members or kept secret from others. Memories are reproduced by language and symbolic actions, for instance, rituals. Some are constructed around traumatic experiences; others are related more to everyday life. Memory making happens within social norms. Papers dealing with the processes of family memory making including initialization, negotiation, and continuation on a macro- and a micro level are especially welcomed.

Session 18: Families and memories. Par II
Organizer: Irene Levin, Oslo University College, Norway, Irene.Levin@sam.hio.no

Session 19: Vulnerable families: Gender and parents
Organizer: tba

Session 12: Changing Asian families II: Evidence and logic
Organizers: Emiko Ochiai, Kyoto University, Japan, emikoo2@aol.com

Joint sessions hosted by other RC

Joint session: Diversity of transnational families
Joint Session of RC06 Family Research and RC31 Sociology of Migration [host committee]

Joint session:  Parental leave: International comparisons
Joint Session of RC06 Family Research and RC30 Sociology of Work [host committee]

Joint session: Leisure and the family in contemporary society
Joint Session of RC06 Family Research and RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee]

Joint session: Globalization, gender and families
Joint Session of RC06 Family Research and RC32 Women in Society [host committee]

Integrative sessions

Integrative Session 8: The changing role of grandparents across diverse societies
Integrative session of Research Committees RC06 Family Research, RC11 Sociology of Aging and RC53 Sociology of Childhood