Families & Societies

Families & Societies


Families and Societies is a major European research project funded under the Seventh Framework Programme with the aim to investigate the diversity of family forms, relationships and life courses in Europe, to assess the compatibility of existing policies with these changes, and to contribute to evidence-based policy-making.

Coordinated by Associate Professor Livia Sz. Oláh of the Stockholm University Demography Unit (SUDA), Dept. of Sociology, the consortium brings together 25 leading universities, research institutes from 15 European countries, three transnational civil society actors and a large number of national and international stakeholders. The project is funded from February 2013 for four years with about 6.5 million EUR in EU contribution.

The points of departure for the project are that family life courses are becoming more complex and diverse, that individuals’ lives are interdependent -- linked within and across generations -- and that individual life courses are shaped by social contexts and policies. Four transversal dimensions are integrated into the project: gender, culture (ethnic, migrant and cultural identities, sexual orientation), socioeconomic resources, and life stages. The project will: 

  • explore the growing complexity of family configurations and transitions across and within European societies;
  • examine their implications for children, women and men with respect to inequalities in life chances, intergenerational relations and care arrangements;
  • investigate how policies address family diversity and its consequences;
  • identify likely paths of future changes in family compositions and related policy needs.