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The Family Kaleidoscope: Evolving Partnerships and Parenting

This workshop took place from 19 to 21 March 2014 in cooperation with research groups of the University of Antwerp, KU Leuven, HU Brussels and the VUB Brussels. Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Scott gave a public lecture on 19 March.

This international academic workshop analysed new forms of partnership and parenthood, such as unmarried cohabitation or blended families. Until recently, the nuclear family was considered the best guarantee for a balanced emotional, social and cognitive child development. What are the effects of new and often complex and stressful relations on child wellbeing, education and parental roles? Will the next generation adopt these new patterns? How can social policy and family law be attuned to non-traditional families and children’s rights? Do the new family patterns change the socialising role of the school and do they exacerbate child poverty?

In her opening lecture, Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Scott (University of Cambridge) approached the issue from the often underexposed perspective of the child and the role of father, mother and society at large. She drew attention to important gender differences and tensions between fulltime or part-time employment and unremunerated homework. Click here to read an elaborate report on the opening lecture.

This workshop resulted in the book Changing Family Dynamics and Demographic Evolution: The Family Kaleidoscope (2016, Edward Elgar).

Contributors: Elisabeth Alofs (VUB, Brussels), Frank F. Furstenberg (University of Pennsylvania), Koenraad Matthys (KU Leuven), Anne McMunn (University College London), Dimitri Mortelmans (University of Antwerp), Koen Ponnet (University of Antwerp), Jacqueline Scott (Queens’ College, Cambridge), Wendy Sigle-Rushton (London School of Economics), An Sodermans (KU Leuven), Laurent Toulemon (INED, Paris), Hans Van Crombrugge (Hoger Instituut voor Gezinswetenschappen).

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