Published in ISA Bulletin number 44, year 1987
Prepared by Kurt Jonassohn, ISA Executive Secretary 1974-1982 and Sergio Contreras
A group of independent persons interested in family sociology began in 1954 a seminar to encourage sociologists to do cross-national studies on the family. Led by Nels Anderson (then Director of the UNESCO Institute of Social Sciences in Cologne, FRG) it attracted to its meetings scholars from Eastern and Western Europe and from the USA.
Since 1985 they held one meeting yearly, and three volumes of reports were published until 1959. These seminars took place in Cologne (FRG) 1954, Sevres (France) 1955, Cologne (FRG) 1956, Wageningen (The Netherlands) 1957, and Madrid (Spain) 1958.
Nels Anderson was in charge of the secretariat of the Seminar until the UNESCO Institute finished its work in 1958-59. Reuben Hill and John Mogey petitioned the ISA at the Congress held in Stressa (Italy) in 1959, to recognize this group as its Sub-Committee on Family Research.
Executive and Members
The first president of the Sub-Committee was Reuben Hill (USA). Other members of the group were: E. G. Arboleya (Spain), G. Baumert (FRG) who would be secretary of the Sub-Committee until his death in 1963, V. Bonac (Yugoslavia), H. Christensen (USA), G. Karlsson (Sweden), J. Mogey (USA) and L. Rosenmayr (Austria).
In 1962, the year of the Vth World Congress of Sociology held in Washington, the Committee experienced a first stage of growth. That year the Committee had 20 members coming from 15 countries: USA (4), France (2), GDR (2), Austria (1), Belgium (1), India (1), Israel (1), Japan (1), The Netherlands (1), Norway (1), Poland (1), Spain (1), Sweden (1), USSR (1) and Yugoslavia (1).
Three years later, the membership was 22 individuals coming from 17 countries: USA (3), Belgium (2), France (2), USSR (2), Austria (1), England (1), GDR (1), India (1), Israel (1), Japan (1), Mexico (1), The Netherlands (1), Norway (1), Poland (1), Spain (1), Sweden (1), and Yugoslavia (1). John Mogey took charge of the Secretariat and Pierre de Bie (Belgium) became treasurer.
This Board was renewed by election, for the first time, in Varna (1970). The Research Committee president Reuben HiII was elected as the President of the ISA and Gerrit A. Kooy (The Netherlands), who had been supposed to succeed him in 1974, had to succeed Reuben Hill immediately. The new Board was as follows (1970-1974):
|Chairperson||Gerrit A. Kooy (The Netherlands) Delegate to the Research Council|
|Secretary||John Mogey (USA) Alternate to the Research Council|
|Members||Pierre de Bie (BeIgium)
Ds. Behnam (Iran)
Anatoli Kharchev (USSR)
Andrée Michel (France)
Marvin Sussman (USA)
Harold T. Christensen (USA)
In 1973, the Board reported 70 paid-up members.
The election in Toronto (1974) of a new board, consisting of a president, two vice-presidents, a secretary and three members at large, meant a deconcentration of power in comparison with the former situation when the ISA nominated the president and secretary, and incorporated 2 board members from the socialist countries.
Also in Toronto the new Constitution of the Committee was approved. The board elected for the period 1974-1978 was:
|President||John Mogey (USA) Delegate to the Research Council|
|Vice-Presidents||Robert Rapoport (United Kingdom)
Jerzy Piotrowski (Poland)
|Secretary||WiIfried Dumon (Belgium)|
|Members-at-large||Joan Aldous (USA)
Elina Haavio-Mannila (Finland)
Herta Kuhrig (GDR)
In the first months of 1978, there was held an election by mail ballot of the new Board. In July 1978, one month before the IXth WorId Congress of Sociology in Uppsala (Sweden), 180 persons were reported to be members of the Committee. The newly elected Board was as follows:
|Chairman||Veronica Stolte-Heiskanen (FinIand) Delegate to the Research Council|
|Vice-Chairmen||Jan Trost (Sweden)
Jerzy Piotrowski (Poland)
|Members-at-large||David Kirk (Canada)
Clio Presvelou (Belgium)
Judit Sas (Hungary)
|Secretary||Wilfried Dumon (Belgium) Alternate to the Research Council|
The following officers were elected for 1982-1986:
|President||Lászlo Cseh-Szombathy (Hungary)|
|First Vice-President||Betty Cogswell (USA)|
|Second Vice-President||Hiroko Nishimura (Japan)|
|Members at large||Ruza First (Yugoslavia)
Louis Roussel (France)
Andrzej Tymowski (Poland)
The Board members for 1986-1990 are:
|President||Jan Trost (Sweden)|
|First Vice-President||Katja Boh (Yugoslavia)|
|Second Vice-President||Hans Bertram (FRG)|
|Secretary/Treasurer||Don Edgar (Australia)|
Below there are the figures of members by country for the years 1975, 1979 and 1986.
|P. R. China||0||0||1|
|(23 countries)||(37 countries)||(31 countries)|
Immediately after its establishment, the Sub-Committee on the Family accepted to continue the organization of the International Seminars on Family Research (CFRIS). The first one organized by the Sub-Committee as such, was the 6th International Seminar on Family, held in Opatija (Yugoslavia), 18-24 September 1961, upon invitation by the Yugoslav Council of Child Welfare.
The main theme of the meeting was "Family and Urbanization", and the Committee members were able to define the theme to be discussed at the Vth World Congress of Sociology, that would take place the following year in Washington, D.C. (USA). Three members of the Committee attended the Seminar which had ca. 20 participants, mainly from Yugoslavia (10) and the USA (4); other countries represented were FRG (1), Belgium (1), France (1), The Netherlands (1) and United Kingdom (1).
At the sessions on "Sociology of the Family" which took place during the Vth World Congress of Sociology in September 1962, 4 papers were submitted on the issue "Problems in Human Organization" and 4 others on "Coping with Response Errors and Cultural Equivalence of Interview Guides".
During the 7th International Seminar on Family Research held in Washington (USA), 10-14 September 1962, 28 persons participated in the meetings and discussions. This seminar was partly financed by the US National Institute of Mental Health. Participants came from the following countries: USA (17), France (2), Austria (1), Belgium (1), Denmark (1), FRG (1), India (1), Israel (1), Spain (1), Sweden (1) and Norway (1).
On August 18-24, 1963, a week-long 8th International Seminar on Family Research was conducted in Oslo (Norway), supported by the Institute for Social Research, under the chairmanship of Erik Gronseth. 12 papers were presented.
The 9th International Seminar on Family Research was held in Tokyo (Japan), on September 14-20, 1965, jointly sponsored by the Japanese Sociological Society, the Japanese National Commission for UNESCO and the ISA. This was the first activity of the ISA to be held in Asia. Financing was obtained from these organizations as well as from UNESCO of Paris, the Japanese National Government, the Asia Foundation and the Ford Foundation.
The organizing committee was chaired by Takeshi Koyoma. The seminar was organized around two major themes of high interest both in Asia and in the West: "Relations between the Family and the Extended Kin", and "Child Behavior under Varying Family Patterns". 90 participants discussed 29 research papers, divided into two seminar groups.
Participants came from Asia and Oceania (22), Europe and the Middle East (8) and the USA (11). About 50 observers, mostly from universities and research centers in Japan, participated on a more restricted basis.
At the VIth World Congress of Sociology held in Evian (France), September 1966, the Research Committee held 4 sessions on Family Research, at which 28 papers were presented by authors coming from USA (8), Algeria (2), Canada (2), Iran (2), Japan (2), Belgium (2), England (1), France (1), Israel (1), Italy (1), Morocco (1), The Netherlands (1), Tunisia (1), USSR (1) and Yugoslavia (1). Sessions were attended by an audience of more than 300 sociologists.
The 10th International Seminar on Family Research accepted an invitation from the Institute for Social Studies and Research in Teheran (Iran) and it took place in March 1965. The meeting consisted of ten sessions where 39 papers were presented.
The 11th International Seminar on Family Research was held on September 4-10, 1970 at Westfield College, University of London (UK). The organizing committee was chaired by Rhona and Robert Rapoport, and financial support came from Nuffield Foundation (London), Tavistock Institute for Human Relations (London) and the Research Committee itself.
The theme of this seminar was "Work and Family", 19 papers were presented by people coming from: USA (5), United Kingdom (4), Norway (2), Austria (1), Belgium (1), Denmark (1), Finland (1), FRG (1), Hungary (1), Israel (1), Italy (l). There were 16 other participants in discussions from United Kingdom (12), USA (2), France (1) and Ireland (1).
The program of the VIIth World Congress of Sociology in Varna (1970) included the following sessions on Family Research:
Session 1: Panel-Symposium on Theoretical Perspectives and Research, Methodologies for the Cross-National Research (3 papers)
Session 2: Comparative Analysis of Family System (6 papers)
Session 3: Family Responses to Modernization (25 papers)
Session 4: Domesticity, Feminity and the Position of Women (14 papers)
Session 5: Problems of Family Sociology in Socialist Countries
Session 6: Children and Youth within the Family Context (17 papers)
The authors of these 65 papers came from: USA (19), Canada (4), Poland (4), Yugoslavia (4), Belgium (3), United Kingdom (3), India (3), Romania (3), Bulgaria (2), Finland (2), Hungary (2), Israel (2), The Netherlands (2), USSR (2), France (1), GDR (1), FRG (1), Iran (1), Japan (1), Lebanon (1), Norway (1), South Africa (1), Spain (1), Sweden (1), Ireland (1).
In Moscow, on April 16-23, 1972, there was held the 12th International Seminar on Family Research. The theme of the meeting was "Dynamics of Change in the Position of Women in Society and Family" being sponsored by the Soviet Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Concrete Social Research, and the Section on Family Sociology of the Soviet Sociological Association. Chairman of the organizing committee was A. G. Kharchev.
The 13th International Seminar on Family Research on the theme "The Family Life Cycle of European Societies" was held in Paris, September 24-28, 1973, co-sponsored by the Centre d'Ethnologie Française, CNRS and Ministere des Affaires Culturelles. Jean Cuisenier was the chairman of the organizing committee. At this meeting, an European working group on Divorce Research in Europe was started on the initiative of the group of French scholars, especially L. Roussel.
The program developed by the Committee for the VIII World Congress of Sociology in Toronto (August 1974) included the following sessions:
Session 1: Science and Revolution in Contemporary Family Life
- Part I: Theories for Understanding Changes in Conjugal Families in the Contemporary World (11 papers)
- Part II: Experimental Designs in Family Research
- Part I: Changes in the Family as a Socializing Agent in the Contemporary World (18 papers)
- Part II: Cross-National Comparative Research (1 paper )
- Part I: Results in Family Research: A Comparative Perspective (13 papers)
- Part II: Interdisciplinary Research (panel)
- Part I: The Role of the Family Sociologist as a Scientist in the Revolutions of the Contemporary World (12 papers)
- Part II: Joint session with Research Committee on Sex Roles in Society (panel)
These 57 papers were prepared by authors coming from: USA (16), Iran (4), Italy (4), Belgium (3), Canada (2), Israel (2), Japan (2), Poland (2), Romania (2), Sweden (2), USSR (2), Ecuador (1), Finland (1), Ghana (1), Greece (1), Guatemala (1), Hungary (1), Singapore (1), South Africa (1), Spain (1), Switzerland (1), Turkey (1), United Kingdom (1), Venezuela (2), Zaire (1).
A five-day workshop on "Changing Sex Roles and its Consequences for Family and Society" sponsored by the Groves Conference on Marriage and the Family, the Family Research Section of the Yugoslav Sociological Association, the Research Committee on Family Research, the East European Family Sociology Group, and the International Commission on Family Organizations was held in Dubrovnik (Yugoslavia), June 16-21, 1975.
Some 400 persons attended about one half of them from the USA and another half from Europe. Members of the Committee spoke at 4 of 5 Plenary Sessions and participated actively as leaders or speakers at 10 of 15 workshops.
The themes of these workshops were: Alternatives to the Procreative Role for Women, Theory of Cross-Cultural Research and Gender Roles, Couple Dynamics and Equality between Partners, Marriage Contracts and other Legal Strategies for Reaching Sex Role Equality, Experimental Methods of Changing Sex Roles, Training Human Service Professionals, Alternative Family Forms, Gender Role Equality in 2000 A.D., Sex Role Differences in Leisure Time, Socialization and Re-socialization for Gender Role Equality, Sex Role Neutrality in Human Service Organizations, Women at Work, Non-reproductive Sex, Social Policy in an Era of Gender Role Equality, Older Women: Adjusting to the New Ways.
On September 1-6, 1975, the 14th International Seminar on Family Research was held in Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles). The theme chosen for the meeting was "Family and Kinship in Middle America and the Caribbean".
The number of participants was limited to 27; all of them were to contribute a paper. The participants were hosted by the tsc hogeschool in Curaçao. English and Spanish were the languages of communications. The seminar was chaired by Rene A. Romer (Netherlands Antilles). Seven sessions were conducted at this meeting.
The working Group on Divorce Research had its first meeting in Louvain (Belgium) on September 25-27, 1974. To the steering committee were elected: R. Chester (UK), W. Dumon (Belgium), G. A. Kooy (The Netherlands) and L. Roussel (France).
The 15th International Seminar on Family Research took place on January 3-9, 1976 in Lome (Togo), on the theme "Marriage, Parenthood and Fertility in West Africa". Francis Olu Okediji was the chairman of the Program Committee. There were 10 sessions on the following topics:
Session 1: Family Structure (7 papers)
Session 2: Parental Role (6 papers)
Session 3: Conjugal Roles and Fertility (6 papers)
Session 4: Education, Occupation, Female Roles and Fertility (3 papers)
Session 5: Value of Children in Society (6 papers)
Session 6: Concepts of Family Planning (7 papers)
Session 7: Types of Marriage and Fertility (5 papers)
Session 8: Theories of Family Research (3 papers)
Session 9: The Presentation of Work in Family Planning in Ghana and Nigeria (2 reports)
Session 10: Methodology of Family Research (3 papers)
46 papers were presented, and there were 89 participants coming from the following countries: Togo (23), Nigeria (14), Ghana (12), USA (12), UK (5), Cameroon (3), France (3), Benin (2), Ivory Coast (2), Upper Volta (2), Senegal (2), Australia (1), Belgium (1), Finland (1), Kenya (1), Liberia (1), Morocco (1), The Netherlands (1), Switzerland (1) and Yugoslavia (1).
The European Working Group on Divorce Research held its 4th meeting in Uppsala (Sweden), on September 27-29, 1976. The group decided to hold a special meeting, open to all other members of the ISA, at the IX World Congress in Uppsala.
Sessions at the IX World Congress of Sociology were coordinated by Jan Trost (Sweden) and were held under the general topics of: Marriage and Family, Sex Roles, Social Change, Violence, Demography, Family and Work, Divorce.
The 16th International Seminar on Family Research on "Child and the Family" was held in St. Peter, Minnesota (USA) on August 20-24, 1979. It was sponsored by the Research Committee and the International Section of the National Council on Family Relations, and by the Research and Theory Section of the same Council. The seminar was organized during the International Year of the Child, and attracted some 32 participants; Floyd M. Martinson chaired the organizing committee;
Following is the program of sessions where 21 papers were presented:
Session 1: Opening session
Session 2: Change
Session 3: Stability
Session 4: Socialization and Alienation
Session 5: Violence and Instability
Session 6: Antecedents of Competence
Session 7: Themes and Values
Session 8: Methods and Directions
Session 9: The Future of Child and Family (panel)
The 1979 symposium of the European Working Group on Divorce Research was organized by the French team and the Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques in France. Ten papers were presented.
"The Child and the Family in Changing Society" was the theme of the 17th CFRIS held in Helsinki (Finland), on November 26-30, 1979. 65 family researchers from 16 countries participated in the seminar, and 30 papers were presented.
The program was:
Theme 1: Relevant theoretical and conceptual interdisciplinary approaches
Theme 2: Consequences of emerging family forms for the child
Theme 3: Sex-roles socializations in childhood
Theme 4:·Problems to identify development in the contemporary family
Theme 5: Demographic changes and the position of the child
Theme 6: Policy implications of family research on the child
The 18th CFRIS was held in Uppsala (Sweden) on June 16-19, 1980 on the theme "Family and Disaster". It was organized by Orjan Hultaker and Jan Trost, and co-sponsored by the Swedish Civil Defense Administration, the European Working Group on Divorce Research.
The program included:
Session 1: Isolation
Session 2: Adaptation of the Family in Disaster
Session 3: Nuclear Plants and the Family
Session 4: Theory on Family and Disaster
Session 5: Traditional and Modern Society during Disaster
Session 6: Individual Stress within Family Framework
There were 19 papers presented at the Seminar.
The 7th meeting of the European Working Group on Divorce Research took place in Madrid (Spain) on November 6-8, 1980. As usual, the subject of the papers was free, but one session topic was "The Influence of Law Changes on Divorce".
The 19th CFRIS was held in Louvain (Belgium) from August 30 through September 4, 1981. The theme was "Divorce and Remarriage"; the seminar was organized by the Research Committee and the Sociological Research Institute of the Catholic University of Louvain. Topics were as follows:
- Divorce and Society / Society and Divorce
- Divorce Procedures and Strategies
- Divorce Counseling and Couple Therapy
- Cross Cultural Research on the Consequences of Divorce: methods and techniques, results
- The Consequences of Divorce: for children, for divorcees, for the society.
- Remarriage and demarriage status of divorcees after divorcee status of marriage in relation to divorce
- Theories on the Consequences of Divorce
Sessions at the X World Congress of Sociology (Mexico 1982) were coordinated by Irving Tallman (USA):
Session 1: Social Theory and Social Policy
Session 2: Kinship in Industrializing and Industrialized Countries
Session 3: Advancements in Theory and Methodology in Family Research
Session 4: Work and Family Roles
Session 5 (jointly with RC on Sociology of Leisure): Leisure and the Family
Session 6: The Family in Latin America
Session 7: Marriage and Family Relations
Session 8: Women, the Family, and Social Development
Session 9: Family Sociology: A European Perspective
The XXth CFRIS on "Social Change and Family Policies" took place in Melbourne (Australia) on August 20-24, 1985. It was organized by Don Edgar, Director of the Institute of Family Studies in Melbourne. More than 200 people attended the seminar, of whom about 70 came from overseas. 66 papers were presented together with 20 discussant papers. Authors came from 15 countries. The proceedings from the seminar are published in five volumes by the Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne.
On June 8-13, 1986 the Committee held its XXI CFRIS in Jerusalem, organized by Lea Shamgar-Handelman at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, on the topic of "Alternative Patterns of Family Life in Modern Societies". The last part of the seminar included a stay at a kibbutz. The presentations will be published in 1987.
At the XIth World Congress of Sociology (New Delhi, August 1986) the CFR had eight lively and well attended sessions organized by Stella Quah of the National University of Singapore:
Session 1: Marital Dissolution
Session 2: Sharing Roles in the Family
Session 3: Family Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Session 4: Changes in Family Structure
Session 5: Problems of Socialization
Session 6: Social Policy and the Family: The Dilemma of State-Family Boundaries
Session 8: Theoretical Development of the Field
In addition, the CFR organized a memorial session for the deceased Honorary President Reuben Hill.
Publications (in chronological order)
- Anderson, Nels (ed): Studies of the Family
- Vol. I, Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1956
- Vol. II, Gottingen: Vandenhock & Ruprecht, 1957
- Hill, Reuben: Sociology of Marriage and Family Behavior 1945-1956, in Current Sociology, vol. VII. Nº 1, 1958. In 1963 the Committee arranged with the US National Institute of Mental Health for the reprinting of this report (500 copies). The new edition appeared in 1964.
- Hill, Reuben: Recent World Developments in Applied Family Sociology, in Transactions of the Fourth World Congress of Sociology, vol. II, 1959.
- IV World Congress of Sociology: The Sociological Knowledge to the Transactions of the Fourth World Application of Family, in: Congress of Sociology, vol. III, 1959. Includes 8 abstracts and the report on the discussion.
- G. Baumert (ed): Family Research: Opatija Papers 1961, in: Current Sociology, vol. XII, Nº 1, 1963-64.
- V World Congress of Sociology: Transactions of the Fifth World Congress of Sociology, vol. IV, 1964. Contains five papers presented at the Washington Congress.
- Mogey, John (ed): The Family in its Social Setting, in: International Journal of Comparative Sociology, vol. 3, Nº 1, 1962. Special issue with seminar papers.
- Mogey, John (ed): Changes in the Family, in: International Social Science Journal, vol. XIV, Nº 3, 1962. Special issue contains seminar papers.
- Mogey, John (ed): Family Research: Washington Papers 1962, in: Family Process, vol. III, Nº 1-2, 1964
- Mogey, John: Sociology of Marriage and Family Behavior 1957-68, in: Current Sociology, vol. XVII, Nº 1-3, 1969.
- Hill, Reuben and René Koenig (eds): Families in East and West. Socialization Process and Kinship Ties. 1965 Tokyo Seminar Papers. Paris: Mouton, 1970.
- VI World Congress: Transactions of the Sixth World Congress of Sociology, vol. IV, 1970. Contains two papers presented in Evian.
- Rapoport, Rhona, Robert Rapoport and Peter Willmott (eds): Family and Work: London Papers 1970, in: Human Relations, vol.24, Nº 6, 1971.
- VII World Congress of Sociology: Transactions of the Seventh World Congress of Sociology, vol. IV, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences Publishing House, Sofia, 1973. Contains 3 papers presented in Varna.
- Sussman, M. B.: Issues and Developments in Family Sociology in the 1970's, in: Current Research in Sociology, The Netherlands: Mouton 1974. Published in the occasion of the VII World Congress of Sociology.
- Chester, Robert (ed) with collaboration of Gerrit Kooy on behalf of the International Research Group on Divorce: Divorce in Europe. Nidi-CBGS Publications, Nijhoff, Leiden, The Netherlands, 1977.
- Cuisenier, Jean (ed) with the assistance of Martine Segalen: The Family Life Cycle in European Societies / Le Cycel de la Vie Familiale dans les Societés Européennes, Mouton (The Netherlands and France) 1977. Contains 25 papers from the Paris Seminar 1973.
- Kharchev, Anatoli (ed): Changing Position of Women and Family, Moscow: Academy of Sciences, Hayka Press 1977. Papers of the 12th International Seminar on Family Research held in Moscow 1972.
- Sussman, M.B. (ed): Liberation of Women: Changing Sex Roles. Family Structure and Dynamics, Moscow Press 1972 and New York: International Arts and Sciences Press 1977.
- Jan Trost (ed): The Family in Change. International Library 1980. Publication of some papers presented at the Uppsala Conference 1976.
- Lenero-Otero, Luis: Beyond the Nuclear Family Model, Cross Cultural Perspectives. Sage Studies in International Sociology vol. 7, London: Sage 1977.
- Marks, Arnaud F. and René Romer (eds): Family and Kinship in Middle America and the Caribbean. Proceedings of the 14th International Seminar on Family Research in Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) 1975. Co-publication of the Institute of Higher Studies in Curaçao and the Department of Caribbean Studies of the Royal Institute of Linguistics and Anthropology in Leiden, The Netherlands, 1978.
- Oppong, O., G. Adaba, M. P. Bekombo and J. Mogey (eds): Marriage, Fertility and Parenthood in West Africa / Mariage, Fécondite et Róle des Parents en Afrique de l'Ouest, in: Changing Africa Series of the Australian National University, Department of Demography, Canberra 1978. It contains 40 papers from the 15th International Seminar on Family Research held in Tomé, January 1976.
- Paepe, C. de, W. Dumon and M. Matthys: La Divorce en Europe Occidentale / Divorce in Western Europe. Bibliographie Annotee/Annotated Bibliography. Collection Ministere de la Justice, Service de Coordination de la Recherche, La Documentation Française, Paris 1978. Book edited by the European Working Group on Divorce Research.
- Jan Trost (ed): The Family in Change. International Library 1980. Publication of some papers presented at the Uppsala Conference 1976.
- Newsletter Gazette edited by the Research Committee has completed since 1973, 13 volumes, each with 2 or 3 numbers. ISSN 0280 6746.