Families and family policy

The family is a key unit for population dynamics. In order to understand demographic change we need to understand the changing roles of families and the interplay between families and state interventions in families.

First, we are interested in state interventions in families. What was motivations behind interventions? How did interventions change over time? What was the consequences of state intervention in families? We are studying the historical development of family policies in Denmark and the Nordic countries. Currently, we are especially working on the policies and consequences of being placed in public institutions (child welfare institutions and institutions for people with disabilities), and on understanding the effects of neo-liberalism on family policy.

Second, we are highly interested in how families work and how families have changed. We especially want to focus on the “family revolution” from the 1970s into the 1990. Within a couple of decades the family was confronted with a number of significant (related) changes: women entering the labour market, changing gender roles, contraception and control of reproduction, and large scale public policies such as the expansion of daycare for children. This change from a traditional family model (male provider) to a double-earner gender equal family model significantly changes societies. We want to describe these changes and also to develop a better understanding of how these changes were experienced by the families on the microlevel.

Joint work of  Klaus Petersen, Cecilie Bjerre, and Åsa Lundqvist, Department of Sociology, Lund University

People: 
Klaus Petersen