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Jani Erola and Elina Kilpi-Jakonen

The aim of this volume is to advance the theoretical and empirical case for compensation as a general mechanism influencing intergenerational social inequality. The volume brings together research on different aspects and types of compensation and covers a number of countries representing different kinds of institutional configurations. This chapter introduces the theoretical basis for compensation and discusses how the study of compensation may give further insights into general processes of intergenerational social inequality. The authors contrast compensation with other mechanisms of resource transfer, namely straightforward accumulation and the multiplication of advantages. They then go further into the different types of compensation and illustrate the kinds of cases in which compensatory processes should be at work. They also discuss how institutions are expected to influence compensation. Finally, they summarize the findings of the empirical chapters that follow and evaluate the extent to which the findings give support for a general theory of compensation, and what the implications are for policy and future research.

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Justine Lloyd and Ellie Vasta

This chapter sets the stage for a new way of thinking about home advanced in this book: home as practised, a process and an event. The chapter gives an overview of ongoing work in sociology and anthropology, as well as housing, migration and cultural studies, that seeks to relativize notions of home. These accounts in turn build on histories of home that have clearly set out the central, yet often unexamined, role that the domestic plays in social life. This challenge to ‘reimagine home’ opens up contemporary social life for new kinds of analysis, as well as offering us a new set of possibilities within which we can make ourselves at home in relation to others. These radical possibilities are explored in case studies by the authors in this book. We demonstrate that thinking differently about home in this way advances our understanding of processes of belonging. We outline how the authors in this collection explore home in relation to the figure of the stranger and publics, as well as with a focus on practices of dwelling and materialities. Through these frameworks, the collection as a whole suggests that our home does not ‘belong’ to us; rather we ‘belong’ to home. Keywords: home, practices of home, public space, belonging, homing practices, place-making, dwelling, relationality

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Edited by Justine Lloyd and Ellie Vasta

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Edited by Daniela Grunow and Marie Evertsson

Why do European couples living fairly egalitarian lives adopt a traditional division of labour at the transition to parenthood? Based on in-depth interviews with 334 parents-to-be in eight European countries, this book explores the implications of family policies and gender culture from the perspective of individual couples who are expecting their first child. Couples’ Transitions to Parenthood: Analysing Gender and Work in Europe is the first comparative, qualitative study which explicitly locates couples’ parenting ideals and plans in the wider context of national institutional structures. These structures embody different degrees of congruence between national family policies, employment protection, care provision and the dominant gender culture in the early twenty-first century. The book applies a novel analytical framework to detect these policy-culture gaps which serve as points of reference for the parents-to-be studied in this volume. The book shows how the parents’ agency varied along with the policy-culture gaps in their own countries and provides evidence of their struggle to adapt to, or resist, socially desired paths and patterns of change during the transition to parenthood. Evidence of a misfit between family policy and gender culture is widespread in the interviews in serval of the countries, thus weakening expectant parents’ potential to share paid and unpaid work more equally. The eight country studies in this volume provide novel insights into how dual-earner couples in Europe planned for the division of paid work and care during the transition to parenthood. In addition, three comparative chapters illuminate why transitions to parenthood differed in distinct institutional and situational contexts and why even egalitarian-minded couples often experienced this transition as gendered. The ways in which institutional structures limit possible choices and beliefs about ‘how to do things right’ are linked in ways that often go unnoticed by social scientists, policy makers, and by parents themselves. To elucidate these links is what the editors consider the main contribution of this book. Couples’ Transitions to Parenthood: Analysing Gender and Work in Europe provides: • A unique, comparative and in-depth analysis of transitions to parenthood in contemporary Europe, focusing on Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Poland • Cutting edge comparative qualitative methodology and innovative combination of macro and micro data • New theoretical insights into the link between structure and agency • Analysis of social policies and their impact on individual parents-to-be
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Daniela Grunow and Gerlieke Veltkamp

All over Europe, the social conditions under which couples become parents in the early twenty-first century differ markedly from those of their parents’ generation. Unlike earlier cohorts, today’s women and men tend to have quite similar life experiences and skills when they form a couple and decide to start a family. Yet, research shows that couples still appear to be giving up gender equal divisions of labour in favour of more traditional family arrangements upon entering parenthood. This chapter presents the theoretical and analytical framework used in this book to assess the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of these transitions in eight European countries. It explicitly locates couples’ beliefs and negotiations in the wider context of national institutions, such as national family policies, employment protection, care provision and gender ideologies about motherhood and fatherhood. In particular, the chapter introduces the notion of policy-culture gaps as a tool to analyse varying degrees of fit between national family policies and key dimensions of dominant gender culture.
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Edited by Dimitri Mortelmans, Koenraad Matthijs, Elisabeth Alofs and Barbara Segaert

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Edited by Dimitri Mortelmans, Koenraad Matthijs, Elisabeth Alofs and Barbara Segaert

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Edited by Dimitri Mortelmans, Koenraad Matthijs, Elisabeth Alofs and Barbara Segaert

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Edited by Dimitri Mortelmans, Koenraad Matthijs, Elisabeth Alofs and Barbara Segaert

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Frank F. Furstenberg

The chapter discusses how and why the United Stes went from a relatively undifferentiated family system in the middle of the last century to the present system of diverse family forms. Even conceding that the family system was always less simple than it now appears in hindsight, it began to depart from the dominant model of the nuclear family household in the late 1960s. The chapter first examines how this change is a result of adaptation by individuals and family members to change economic, demographic, technological and cultural conditions. The breakdown of the gender based division of labour was the prime mover. Next, the chapter examines family complexity in the United States as largely a product of growing stratification. It shows how family formation processes associated with low human capital produce complexity over time in family systems. The chapter then examines complexity in a changing global context.