ISA World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, July 2014

Research Committee on
Family Research, RC06

RC06 main page

Program Coordinators

Number of allocated sessions including Business Meeting: 22.


For sessions program and schedule see

On-line congress program


Caretakers of Families` Children and Elders

Session Organizer
Mark HUTTER, Rowan University, USA,

Session in English

This session will focus on the quite common practice of professional caretakers (often referred to as Nannies) of the elderly and of children and the impact they have on the families that they serve as well as their own families. Papers should reflect the complexity of the domestic emotional labor relationship that can exist between nanny caretakers and their charges – children or the elderly. Nanny caretakers come from many countries throughout the world and serve families in many different countries. Papers can examine how nannies form and create communities in their foreign countries. In addition, papers may focus attention on the transnational social relationships that exist between nannies who maintain emotional, social, economic, and familial ties to their own family members residing back in their home countries.

Further, papers can examine the development of relationships among family members who have joined the nannies in their foreign country. The impact of geographical mobility and separation on the processes of identification formation as well as processes of assimilation and acculturation to life in their new country is another topic paper may deal with. Papers that focus on the implications this has for future family relationships for nannies both in their country of origin and in their country of residence are also of interest.


Cultural Capital and Parenting in Global Asia

Session Organizer
Yi-Ping Eva SHIH, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan,

Session in English

Not open for submission of abstracts. Invited panel session.
In the United States, there is a heated debate about the strengths and weakness of Asian “Tiger Mom” tactics for child rearing. Likewise, many parents in East Asia are anxious about how to prepare the next generation for the future. Thus, many of them push their children to master the English language, to study abroad, and/or to pursue an internationally recognized diploma. This increasingly prevalent phenomenon of “internationalization/globalization of parenting repertoire” has motivated us to organize a panel to discuss new sociological approaches to studying parenting that combine insights from both cultural sociology and family studies. In brief, this panel seeks to discuss how Asian families blend local and global culture in and through their childrearing practices.

We will also examine how fathers and mothers deliberate socialization by utilizing a cultural toolkit that comes across national borders. Particularly, one focus of the panel is to explore the formation and practices of cultural capital among (East) Asian families in relation to the importance of social class. To initiate a dialogue among different East Asian societies, this panel plans to include researchers who study Japanese, Taiwanese, and Asian American families. This inquiry will not only elaborate our understanding of the changing contour of East Asian families, but will also further develop theories about culture formation within and outside of East Asian families.


Emerging New Family Forms in Asia and Beyond

Session Organizers
Wei-Jun Jean YEUNG, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Ka-Lok Adam CHEUNG, National University of Singapore, Singapore,

Session in English

In 1963, based on his cross-cultural analysis, William J. Goode predicted a convergence of world family to conjugal family as industrialization spreads. Half a century later, rapid economic development has occurred in almost every country in Asia. To what extent does Goode`s prediction match the current development of family structures in the Asian context? While nuclear family has become a more dominant form, new forms of family such as single person household, skipped generation, single-parent household, and childless families have begun to increase. Potential reasons for these trends can include increased geographic mobility, lengthened young adulthood and life expectancy, or change in family values.

Asia houses forty per cent of the world population. The diverse and unique cultural, demographic, socioeconomic, and policy contexts across Asian countries shape how the family patterns change across the region. Today`s families in South Asia (such as Indian and Nepal), Southeast Asia (such as Singapore and Thailand) and East Asia (such as China and Korea) face different challenges and opportunities. Comparative research that addresses the similarities and differences on these emerging new family forms among the Asian societies is needed. We propose to organize a session in RC06 that provides a platform for scholars to systematically examine structural changes in contemporary Asian families.

In this session, we invite papers to compare the trend of emerging new family structures such as skipped-generation households and single-person households across different countries in Asia. Participants will also be invited to investigate the driving forces behind the changes and the differences. Cross-national and cross-temporal perspectives are especially welcome.


Facing an Unequal World: Social Capital and Families in a Cross-Cultural Perspective

Session Organizers
Fausto AMARO, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal,
Bárbara BARBOSA NEVES, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal

Session in English

This session explores the role of families in the production, accrual, and reproduction of social capital. Social capital is a multidisciplinary concept with a variety of definitions, but it broadly refers to the resources embedded in our social ties/communities. It has been associated with a variety of positive outcomes, from status attainment to alleviation of poverty. Those with a higher level of social capital seem to have more professional and social opportunities, and to be better off. So, what is the relationship between family life and social capital? How do families contribute to the creation and maintenance of social capital? Do they create specific types of social capital? How does the diversity of contemporary family forms affect social capital? Can families and social capital help us to overcome crises and an unequal world? Or do they reinforce inequalities?

Both theoretical and empirical proposals that cover a range of themes in relation to family and social capital in a cross-cultural perspective are welcome, including but not limited to the following topics: Access and mobilization of social capital; Reproduction of social capital; Dimensions of social capital; Bonding social capital; Bridging social capital; Stratification and social capital; Individual and collective-level social capital; Measurement of social capital; Implications of social capital for family life; Violence and social capital; and, Dark side of social capital.


Families in the Developing Countries

Session Organizer
Ria SMIT, University of Johannesburg, South Africa,

Session in English

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.


Family Studies Based on Quantitative Analyses of Surveys

Session Organizers
Rokuro TABUCHI, Sophia University, Japan,
Sigeto TANAKA, Tohoku University, Japan,

Session in English

Papers that address family issues using survey data from all over the world are welcome. Preference will be given to national or local data sets especially those from Asia. The mission of session organizers is to facilitate the sharing of national and local data sets and promote future collaboration among participants. Papers that focus on some aspect of balancing family and work demands are especially welcome but other family topics will be considered. Work-family balance needs particular attention especially in societies where people face extremely low fertility rate and underperformance in women in the labor force, as in Eastern Asia.

Although family researchers in all regions worldwide are accumulating more and more micro-level quantitative data on family-related behaviors, sharing that data with researchers from other countries or regions is rare. For instance, in Japan a number of quantitative studies using data from reliable, nationally representative surveys such as NFRJ (National Family Research of Japan) are increasing in number. The sharing of survey data between countries and regions will increase the possibility of comparative studies.


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Family Life

Session Organizers
Bárbara BARBOSA NEVES, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal,
Cláudia CASIMIRO, University Institute of Lisbon, Portugal,

Session in English

This session critically explores the intersection between family life and the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The contemporary family is progressively a networked family through a variety of digital technologies. A Pew report concluded, in 2008, that American families were using the Internet and mobile phones to coordinate their lives, to be connected throughout the day, and to bond and share moments online. Is this a cross-cultural behavior? What challenges does this connectedness bring in family routines, relationships, norms, work, intimacy, and privacy?

This session aims to address two main broad questions: How do ICT affect and shape contemporary families? and, How do families, in turn, shape ICT? We welcome both theoretically informed and empirically grounded papers that cover a range of themes in relation to family life and ICT, including but not limited to the following:


Inter-Ethnic Families in Asia

Session Organizer
Shirley Hsiao-Li SUN, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore,

Session in English

Advanced industrialized societies in Asia are facing demographic challenges – most notably, low fertility – and governments are increasingly receptive to encourage immigration to address such demographic challenges. What are the issues and challenges that inter-ethnic families face in general, and inter-ethnic families with cross-border marriages face, in particular? What are the linkages between macro-level state policies governing citizenship and micro-level family dynamics for inter-ethnic families? This session invites papers that focus on ethnicity, immigration, family dynamics and changing notions of citizenship in an integral fashion. Both theoretical and empirical papers are welcome.

Papers can address themes including, but not limited to, the following:


New Roles of Men and Women and Implications for Society

Session Organizers
Rudolf RICHTER, University of Vienna, Austria,
Livia OLAH, Stockholm University, Sweden
Irena E. KOTOWSKA, Warsaw School of Economics, Poland,

Session in English

The general objective is to address the complex interplay between the new roles of women and men and the diversity of family life courses as being actively explored in contemporary Europe and in other countries and regions globally. The family cannot be described simply as a set of well-defined roles anymore; it is negotiated on a daily basis, constructed by interactions between partners at the micro-level and influenced by macro structures in the political and economic spheres. Work and family lives increasingly influence each other as both women and men engage in earning as well as caring activities, seldom reinforced by employment instability and precariousness. Gender relations and related values and attitudes have become more fluid, changing dynamically over the life course and across generations in the context of blurring boundaries of family and work life. In this session we also aim to shed more light on the impact of different policy contexts on new constructions of gender in doing family.

Papers which address following specific objectives are welcome:


RC06 Business Meeting

Session Organizer


RC06 Poster Session: Meet Family Scholars

Session Organizer
Sampson Lee BLAIR, State University of New York, USA,

Session in English

Session will include papers submitted directly to the organizer 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 proposal. Display specifications will be available later.


RC06 Roundtable I. Global Changes in Families: Implications for Family Processes, Cohesion, and Identity Formation

Session Organizer
Bahira TRASK, University of Delaware, USA,

Session in English

As our world becomes increasingly integrated through market forces, communication technologies, and transnational policies, these changes are reflected in families. In many places around the globe we are witnessing a move to dual-earner couples, increased egalitarian decision making, and less traditional life courses. Families where women are sole earners or out-earning men and transnational families are also part of this trend.

This session will explore some of these global transformations and the implications of these changes for family processes, cohesion and identity formation. Some of the potential questions to be explored include but are not limited to:
The objectives of this session are:


RC06 Roundtable II. Fatherhood in Transition: A Challenge for Global Sociology

Session Organizers
Isabella CRESPI, University of Macerata, Italy,
Elisabetta RUSPINI, University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy,

Session in English

This session intends to explore the changing roles of men as related to fatherhood in a global context. It also intends to explore the social issues including tensions associated with changing male and father identities and related existing social agendas. The transition from modernity to contemporary modernity has been demarcated by radical transitions—including: globalization, sectorial de-industrialization and the de-standardization and increasing precariousness of labour, along with rising education levels, and recurrent economic and political crises. This has been accompanied by a restructuring of intergenerational relations and the transformation of gender identities and family models. Within this complex context, the number of men willing to question the stereotyped model of masculinity is growing. Especially younger men are beginning to claim a greater share in bringing up their children. An awareness of the importance of fathers to the development of their children is growing, especially for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The impact of technology on marriage, family life, and family diversity is also significant. Technology is probably the feature that has changed the most dramatically since the modern period. A general lack of attention (and a lack of comparative research) to the complex intersection between “old” and “new” forms of masculinity, fatherhood and children`s well-being exist. These cultural challenges should be better theorized within family and social policy research. Such changes should be of interest for a wide range of policy areas which impact families, women, men, and children.

The session will focus on the opportunities and challenges (to social/cultural systems and welfare regimes) posed by:
Papers should address one (or more) of these issues, using and combining both qualitative and quantitative social research methods. Papers dealing with on-going projects/good practices aimed at preparing the new generations of men to an equal distribution of family tasks; to care functions; to a different, more reflective form of fatherhood, are particularly welcome.


Transition into Adulthood: Youth and Families

Session Organizer
Chin-Chun YI, Academia Sinica, Taiwan,

Session in English

Focus on adolescents and young adults in the contemporary family. As social inequality becomes more serious around the globe, how it affects the developmental patterns of youth and how family resources facilitate or impede the growth trajectories of the younger generation are significant research issues.

This session welcomes scholarly contribution on the relationship between youth and family. Potential subjects may include the following but not limit to:
Transition into adulthood: and, Premarital interaction:


Work and Family in Cross-National Comparative Perspective

Session Organizers
Gayle KAUFMAN, Davidson College, USA,
Hiromi TANIGUCHI, University of Louisville, USA,

Session in English

Seeking papers that address issues of work and family across multiple countries. Papers may focus on the micro and/or macro level, and qualitative as well as quantitative studies are welcome. Recent research suggests that the work-family experience differs across countries. Many of these differences are due to different work-family models, such that some countries continue to support a breadwinner model while others have shifted to a one-and-a-half earner model and yet others strive for a fully dual-earner model. Even though the division of housework and child care varies by country, there is still a consistent pattern that women do more than men in every country. Important country-level factors include women`s and mothers` employment rates, prevalence of part-time employment, policy and practices related to work hours and paid days off, availability and use of family leave (both maternity and paternity), public expenditure on child care and use of child care, and the gender wage gap. Important individual-level factors include marital status, education, occupation, work hours, and family responsibilities.

Potential topics are not limited to, but include:


Joint Sessions

Click on the session title to read its description and the scheduled day/time.

Children`s Agency through Daily Life Interactions

Joint session of RC06 Family Research and RC53 Sociology of Childhood [host committee]


Disasters and Families and Children: Coping Strategies and Recovering Efforts

Joint session of RC06 Family Research and RC39 Sociology of Disasters [host committee]


Families Responses to Natural and Human-Made Disasters

Joint session of RC06 Family Research [host committee] and RC39 Sociology of Disasters


Families, Structural Violence and Human Rights

Joint session of RC06 Family Research and TG03 Human Rights and Global Justice [host committee]


Families` Resilience in Times of Economic Crisis and Mobility

Joint session of RC06 Family Research [host committee] and RC31 Sociology of Migration


Family and Elder Care

Joint session of RC06 Family Research and RC11 Sociology of Aging [host committee]


Human Rights, Family Roles and Social Justice

Joint session of RC06 Family Research [host committee] and TG03 Human Rights and Global Justice


Labor Market Trends and Family Well-Being

Joint session of RC06 Family Research [host committee] and RC53 Sociology of Childhood


Leisure and Family: A Mutually Supportive Relationship

Joint session of RC06 Family Research and RC13 Sociology of Leisure [host committee]


Panel Data Analysis of Families Worldwide

Joint session of RC06 Family Research [host committee] and RC33 Logic and Methodology in Sociology


Women Negotiating Work and Family

Joint session of RC06 Family Research [host committee] and RC32 Women in Society



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International Sociological Association
June 2014