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Family policy mattersResponding to family change in Europe$
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Linda Hantrais

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9781861344717

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861344717.001.0001

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date: 17 August 2017

The changing family–policy relationship

The changing family–policy relationship

Chapter:
(p.1) One The changing family–policy relationship
Source:
Family policy matters
Author(s):

Linda Hantrais

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781861344717.003.0001

Generally, family and household structure underwent far-reaching change in the course of the twentieth century in European societies, and the early twenty-first century seems set to be distinguished by greater family diversity, increasingly endorsed by formal legal codes. This book explores the ways in which family life is socially and culturally constructed in the early twenty-first century in the member states of the European Union (EU), and looks at how families interact with the political, economic, and civil society actors contributing to the policy process. Compared with other book-length studies of family change and public policy, it is concerned with the two-way interactive process and is not confined to a single country. The chapters are illustrated by examples taken from fieldwork conducted between 2001–2 in eight EU15 member states (France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the UK) and three of the CEE candidate countries (Estonia, Hungary, and Poland). The chapters address five key questions: How are families changing in European societies? What are the challenges raised for society by changing family structures? How are policy makers and practitioners responding to family change? Does family policy matter? What can policy actors learn from experience in other countries?

Keywords:   family structure, Europe, policy, society, diversity

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