Call for papers – “Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research” (2015)

Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research, an annual series which focuses upon cutting-edge topics in family research around the globe, is seeking manuscript submissions for its 2015 volume. The 2015 volume of CPFR will focus on the theme of ‘Violence and Crime in the Family: Patterns, Causes, and Consequences.’ In virtually all societies, crime is an ever-present problem. Although families are often envisioned as a ‘safe haven,’ criminologists and family researchers have found the familial context to be at the core of many forms of crime and violence. This multidisciplinary volume of CPFR will address topics such as: child abuse and neglect, spousal violence, marital rape, incarceration and parenting, community crime and family well-being, family life and delinquency, intrafamily violence, familial homicide, sexual abuse, parental kidnapping, and familicide.

The 2015 volume with be coedited by Sheila Royo Maxwell of Michigan State University and Sampson Lee Blair of The State University of New York (Buffalo).

Manuscripts should be submitted directly to the editors ( and, preferably in MS WORD format. Manuscripts should not exceed 40 double-spaced pages (not including tables, figures, and references). Submission of a manuscript implies commitment to publish in CPFR. Manuscripts should adhere to the APA format. Manuscripts should represent previously unpublished work. An abstract of 150-200 words should be included at the beginning of each manuscript. All manuscripts will undergo peer review.

The deadline for initial submissions is January 20, 2015. Any questions may be directed to the editors at and

XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology – Program & practical information

The XVIII ISA World Congress of Sociology will take place in a few days in Yokohama, Japan. According to recent congress stats published by the ISA, this scientific event counts with 5693 registrants from 112 countries. This is a truly opportunity to discuss societal issues with sociologists from all over the world.

The program is available online here. You can search for presentations by typing keywords, authors, or titles. You can also download the book of abstracts (14 MB) and the program book (10 MB). Don’t forget to check ISA’s practical information about the congress and Yokohama as well.

You are also invited to attend the RC06 Business Meeting and the RC06 Reception. Please make a note of the dates and times:

- RC06 Business Meeting:
July 14th (Monday) 19:30-20:50 (with Japan Society of Family Sociology) Room 413

- RC06 Reception:
July 17th (Thursday) 19:30-20:50 Room 303

Finally, here is our latest Gazette (Vol. 40) where you can find RC06 timetable (p. 6) and other important information.

We look forward to seeing you all in Japan!

CFR Early Stage Family Scholar Grant: 2014 ISA World Congress

A participation grant may be awarded to an early stage family scholar who is judged to have authored the best original paper accepted for presentation at the 2014 World Congress.

Early Stage scholars must submit completed papers by February 13, 2014. Amount awarded will not exceed US$1,000. Early stage scholars include graduate students currently completing a PhD degree or recent recipients of the PhD in sociology or in a related discipline. For more details and specifications check here.

The winning paper may be nominated by the CFR Referees, President, and Board for consideration for publication in the Journal of Comparative Family Studies. The editor of JCFS will decide if further review is needed and make the final decision on acceptance of the paper for publication.

Guest blogger of September – “Family and Migration” by Irena Juozeliuniene

The organizer of our last CFR seminar in Vilnius, Irena Juozeliuniene, is our guest blogger of September. Irena organized with Jan Trost two CFR seminars in Lithuania (1993 & 2013), exploring different but related themes. She has been a member of our committee since 1991. Here are her reflections about family and migration. Please do not forget to leave your comments and feedback below.

Irena Juozeliuniene is a Professor of Sociology at Vilnius University in Lithuania. Her academic interest include topics such as family issues, sociological aspects of identity and postmodern social discourse. Her recent work is about families under migration in a globalized world. Recent research projects include “Lithuanian Emigrants and Their Children: Sociological Research of Families with Parents Away” (2007), supported by the Scientific Council at Vilnius University; “Resources, Locality and Life Course: the Case of the Town” (2007), supported by the Lithuanian National Foundation for Science and Education. She leads the ongoing project “Emigration and Family: Challenges, Family Resources, Ways of Coping with Difficulties” (2012-2014), supported by the Research Council of Lithuania. Together with Jan Trost she organized two ISA RC06 seminars “Family and Social Change” (1993) and “Family and Migration” (2013) in Lithuania. You can find her here.

Family and Migration

I had the honor of organizing ISA RC06 seminar in Lithuania two times: the topic of 1993 seminar was “Rapid Social Change and Family”. It was supported by the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology under the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences (you can find the program here). In 2013, I have opted for the topic “Family and Migration”. The seminar attracted 30 researchers from eleven countries of the world. The seminar took place in Vilnius University and was supported by CFR and the Research Council of Lithuania (you can view the program here). When organizing a seminar after twenty years, I aimed not so much for continuity as for focusing on issues that concern Eastern European (Lithuanian among them) family sociologists today. Obviously, the two seminars differ in their topics and the emotional charge they carry. Remembering year 1993, back then seminar participants were interested in changes affecting family life at the end of the 20th century and could observe in real-time the situation in Lithuania in the aftermath of the collapse of the USSR, Lithuania has just restored its independence. The end of the Soviet regime and dogmatic family ideology promised positive changes – in family life and family sociology, both.

Twenty years later, I suggested examining the questions of family and migration. Does that mean that the period marked by optimistic mood and expectations of “new life” is already over and we witness shift of focus to – one could say, even concern over – the consequences of global mobility? That is precisely how the situation stands when viewed from the perspective of Lithuania. Social reality – mass emigration from Lithuania and the impact of global mobility on the family – became more than just a strategic problem for the nation-state. It also challenges the theory of family sociology, its research methodologies and practical work with individual families.

Using the privilege bestowed on hosts organizing CFR seminars, I have suggested several topics, introduced here as intentions.


The first topic is connected to a widespread belief in Lithuania that family is a small part of society, situated within a nation state. The image of nuclear family as a benchmark is officially established in the National Family Policy Conception (2008), while the spirit of nationalism connects the family with one nation state and does not recognize the fact that humans are capable of creating family constructs across several nation states. Established theoretical (perhaps even ideological) family schemes prevent from recognizing families as lived realities, brought about by mobility of individuals.

I suggested the emphasis of the CFR Seminar on how families are shaped by mobility? Whether identification of an individual and family with a fixed locality and nation state is still evident? How families are affected by multiple national residences and transnational identities, whether belonging to de-located families is in contradiction with feelings of belonging to nation state?

Secondly, my focus was on the reasoning that global mobility suggests the new modes of sociological analysis of families. I aimed to open the discussion about new phenomena and new concepts come up to emphasize the networks and boundaries of emerging family variations and seek to define their diverse lived realities. Whether these phenomena reveal the opportunities for families or mark the new sources of social stigma? It seemed reasonable to bring the social category of „the other“, disclose class and cultural connotations of the concept, and go on with the word „migrant“, usually attributed to economic migration, then continue with the transnational elites as „mobiles“ – neutral word without connotations of social stigma.

The third topic. In my view, the topic of family and migration often attracts much more scrutiny in destination countries. Questions examining how emigrants integrate into new cultural environment, how they define relation with a titular nation, as well as social assistance to migrants and their families are often addressed in scientific journals and essays. Holding the seminar in Lithuania presented an excellent opportunity to take a look at the other side of global mobility – examine the perspective of countries subject to citizen emigration as well as look into family doing practices of emigrating people (and not view them solely as cheap labor force). I had an idea of introducing emigration flows from Lithuania, complement the overview of migration directions with sociological analysis of the situation, and later illustrate it with visual material by screen a documentary film and holding post-screening discussion.

I will leave it up to seminar participants to judge whether the idea has paid off. Meanwhile, I will share my own reflections.


Definitions. How families are shaped by mobility? The distinctions between commuting and migration, „mobiles“ and „migrants“ were introduced. Attention was drawn to ambivalence of used concepts and their relation to different family practices within various social and cultural contexts. The analysis of family constructs has inevitably raised the eternal question: what do we mean by family? Who is perceived as family members in cross boarder living arrangements? Is it different, if we take the perspective of a person, labeled as „migrant“, „mobile“, „left behind“? Going further, what meanings we attribute to „transnational“ family? What do one mean by „transnational social capital of the family“?

New concepts. The concept of Displaying Family was introduced. It shows that migrant family life must not only be „done“, but also be „seen to be done“. In my opinion, this concept can be successfully developed within the context of study of families undergoing migration, because within the new social and cultural contexts it is necessary to demonstrate to the audience that “we consider ourselves to be a family” and migrant family practices are not tantamount to “destruction”.

“The other”. In migration studies, “I” and “other”, “we” and “others” constitute an important chain in sociological analysis. The question was raised about whether otherness of the “other” is always clearly defined and verbalized, whether the “other” can be analyzed from the perspective of secrets, taboos, and silence? Such perspective creates pre-conditions for analyzing migration issues through the lens of memories. The latter might include micro-macro analysis of contexts, meanings, behaviors.

Phenomena. Several phenomena related to mobility were introduced. Russian-Jewish „babushka“, as institution of family support and child rearing was discussed. This was to disclose the social construction of „womanhood“, relationships between mothers and daughters, growing significance of elderly in the family. The phenomenon of nannies from the Third World countries has highlighted voluntary integration of the cultural “other” into families for the purpose of caring for elderly people and childcare. It was demonstrated how pragmatic exchange relations gradually transform themselves into attachment/hate relations and can lead to unforeseen effects on the family life.

Theories. What theory should be used to ground the study of families in migration? In the theoretical introduction suggestions were made to invoke SI perspective, based on further development of G. H. Mead’s “I” and “me”. The application of this perspective, to my mind, provides an excellent opportunity to invoke timeless classics for analysis of contemporary realities. Several speakers espoused SI perspective, though participants have also discussed life course perspective and actor-network theory, which is increasingly popular in the age of mobility, dynamic relations and Internet.

Two perspectives: countries of destination and origin.
Majority of speakers have presented research on status of migrant families in destination countries: UK, Germany, Israel, France, USA, Austria, and Taiwan. Participants analyzed specific features of interpersonal relations and bi-national couples, discussed cases of children’s bilingualism, transnational parenting strategies – different for mothers and fathers, presented experiences of women as mothers, daughters, and wives. Migrant social networks, strategies for organizing financial assistance, and their connection to political, economic, legal culture of nation states and historical experience of ethnic migrant groups were also the topics for discussion.

The situation of Lithuania, as a country supplying migrants, was analyzed on the levels of emigration trends, sociological research, and social documentaries. Sociological analysis disclosed how Lithuanian society is shaped by meaning-making institutions producing knowledge about migration and migrant families. The development of the outline to migrant family research was introduced: the possibilities to apply pragmatic approach, mixed method research and integrative methodology were suggested. R. Hill’s family change model was treated as conceptual axis of family research through the lens of changes, resources, definitions of the situations and impact management practices. The movie about children left behind, firstly, aimed to introduce the challenges brought to families. Secondly, the movie and comments by film maker served as the example of the social construction of reality shaped by the knowledge of film maker and technologies which produce “truthful” images about phenomena.

Guest blogger of July – “Story of a Social Resistance in Taksim, Istanbul” by Filiz Baloglu

We are very, very, very excited about this month’s guest blogger. We invited our colleague Filiz Baloglu, from Istanbul, to write about the recent popular uprising in Turkey and its significance for family studies. Here is her thoughtful and interesting contribution. Please do not forget to leave your comments and feedback below.
Filiz Baloglu is an Assistant Professor at Istanbul University, Faculty of Economics in Turkey. She works at the Department of Economic Sociology. Filiz is also the director of the ‘Methodology and Sociology Research Center’ and the editor of the ‘Istanbul Journal of Sociological Studies’. Her academic interest covers topics such as poverty, gender issues, informal markets, new emerging markets, market and tax relationships, which have a crucial effect on family life –- also a central topic of her studies. Her recent work is about the relationship between individual cultural capital and cultural capital of Istanbul.

Story of a Social Resistance in Taksim, Istanbul

The protests that were started in Gezi Park in Taksim Square, at the heart of Istanbul, touched people almost like ‘a magic wand’. The resistance, which started with environmental sensitivities and architectural concerns in order to stop the trees from being cut and a shopping mall from being built in place of the park, went through a sort of transformation within a few days time, and gained a social and political character. The incessant protests were held in not only Istanbul but all over Turkey and made history as an agenda setting movement. The protests have also become a social phenomenon that interests and affects the whole world. It was particularly interesting that Brazilian protestors taking the streets against the public transport price increases were carrying signs that said “Taksim everywhere”.

I will try to share certain significant aspects of this movement, which expanded in scope especially in connection with the recent uprisings in Egypt.

Spaces: Real and Virtual

I think it would not be a mistake to analyze the events through two interconnected spaces. The first one is the public spaces, Gezi Park and later on other parks and squares in other Turkish cities where protests broke out while the second is the virtual spaces of Facebook and Twitter. Just like real arenas, these two also became public gathering spaces where feelings and thoughts are shared and humor and ideas are produced.

While the isolating characteristic of social media becomes disputable, dead public spaces that Richard Sennett highlighted became rejuvenated. Real and virtual living spaces displayed a unified character during the protests. In both types of spaces, the society gave up on being mere observers. In terms of architecture and environmentalism, the mall that is planned to be built in Gezi Park makes it necessary for us to look for a reality beyond objection. Some famous companies declared that they would not open branches, if a mall were to be built after this response. Social media also became the main source of news, as a result of the “obligatory insensitivity” and “peaking disinterest” of mainstream media. The people in the park created a sort of Facebook or Twitter family by sharing everything in real time. Just as members of a family take care of each other, they achieved this via social media.

Actors and Attitudes

There are two visible actors on the field: people involved in ‘nonviolent’ resistance and young people that have been thought to have no political interest or experience on the one side, and the police forces that responded to the resistance with ‘excessive violence’ and the disproportionate force they used. Of course, the actor who keeps the relationship between these at this level and does not compromise is Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Although the starter was the park and the trees, later on everyone had their own reasons to be involved.

The first group of protesters was a handful of people; the environmentalists, which consisted of young people who were woken up by pressurized water on the dawn after the night they spent calmly in their tents in Gezi Park, the green movement, flower children and artists. This group was accompanied by activists, especially representing the leftist thought. The government tried to marginalize the protests in Taksim, by using the flags and slogans of these groups. The continuity of the events and the increasingly authoritarian attitude of the government created a kickback and as the third group, the number of ordinary citizens that are ‘bothered by the interventions to their private lives’ by the government started to increase. Taksim almost witnessed the emergence of an anti-government movement against Erdogan. Although a fourth group consisting of opposition parties and NGO’s started to adopt the protests, they received negative response as well for ‘not representing the people sufficiently’.

Social Rupture: Us and Others

I think the most important issue observed since the very beginning of the protests is the divergence between two opposite lifestyles. This rupture between the secular sections that emerged with the establishment of the republic and the conservative sections rooted in Islamic values is in a sense the sharpening of the separation between the modern and the traditional.

While sharpened especially by the discourse of ‘us and others’ used by the Prime Minister during the events, this separation led to new and bigger protests. For instance, the fact that he said; “we are forcing 50% of the population to stay at home”, gave the impression that the government accepts this dichotomy with an authoritarian language. The government trying to gather all power and hegemony in this way actually unified various groups by ‘marginalizing’ them. This is because the other front line of marginalization is economical. The protection of a public space that is being commercialized is also about what capitalist power is takes away from city-dwellers and appropriates, as much as it is about environmental concerns.

Who raised these looters?

The Prime Minister called the protestors a handful of looters, which means ‘a criminal who takes property belonging to someone else with the intention of keeping it or selling it’. This humiliating word changed meaning with a humorous tone and became a badge of honor for the protestors, meaning person resisting for his/her rights. Both the humorous and creative responses that they developed against the authoritarian attitude of the government and shared in social media, and their resistance, gave the Y generation, who are the leading actors of Gezi Park, a genuine identity.

The rupture I briefly mentioned is closely related to what kind of youth is raised by the family. An obedient and unquestioning individual or a free individual that can make decisions about his/her future? The Geziers, who are in the second group, declared that they are here—categorizing their demands under one name — ‘for freedoms’: “do not touch my lifestyle”, “do not touch my park”.

In this framework, the increasing interference in the lifestyle of the young people with religious and traditional references and Erdogan’s wish to create a religious youth becomes prominent. It is not a problem if families choose to raise religious children and the process works out like this in time. However, the issue here is conservationism by the government.

Meanwhile, as mothers of these children, and because of the latest discourses of the government about abortions and number of children people should have, women are feeling the highest pressure. The governor who in a sense recognized the influence that women have in these events, called out to mothers: “come and take your kids from Gezi Park”. The response by the mothers was to come and join them. I guess we are going through a process in which an area, where traditional arguments have trouble or do not work, is being rebuilt everyday.

Did the Game End?

After the Prime Minister said ‘the game is over’, the protestors were taken out of the park by brutal police force. The protests may seem impossible to continue in Gezi Park, which is open to public but closed to people now. However, the fact that the protest could not keep up speed does not mean failure. Because individuals, as citizens in Turkey, reinvented their power and creativity after a long time. Creative giants emphasized by Erving Goffman, try to create macro results with their micro level protests and thoughts. It was declared that Gezi Park would be left as it is in accordance with the court decision. Graduation ceremonies of many universities staged interesting images referring to Gezi events. It seems like the emblematic Gezi protests will continue to show itself in different platforms of the society.

Restructuring the ISA – Call for Comments

Dear RC06 members,

Following detailed discussions over the last year, the ISA Executive Committee has voted to propose changes to the organization of ISA. The proposed changes involve the re-composition of the program committee for World Congresses that will give wider representation to Research Committees and National Associations and enable future ISA Presidents to play a more direct role in shaping World Congress programs. If the proposals pass then they will take effect at the 2014 World Congress in Yokohama.

The proposals involve changes to the ISA Statutes and By-laws. This requires a vote from the Assembly of Councils, which is composed of the representatives of Research Committees and National Associations.

Details of the change can be found here, where you will find the details of the proposed changes, rationales for and against the changes and the corresponding modifications to the ISA Statutes and By-laws. All 4 documents are in the three official languages of the ISA, but the English version will govern in case of ambiguity.

Therefore, we need to discuss these changes with our members. Please send us your comments directly, so we can vote accordingly.

Our new gazette is out!

Screen Shot 2013-05-18 at 4.29.33 PMOur newsletter is out! You can check it here. Or you can find it in the newsletters’ menu.

In this issue, you can find information on the Call for Papers for the ISA World Congress (2014, Japan), as well as a list of sessions.


Guest blogger of May – “A report of three RC06/CFR family conferences in Taiwan: 1992, 2003, 2013″ by Chin-Chun Yi


Our guest blogger of May is Dr. Chin-Chun Yi, the organizer of our last seminar in Taiwan. Dr. Yi is a research fellow at the Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology, University of Minnesota (1981). Dr. Yi’s recent research projects include “Comparative Studies on Chinese Female’s Family Status” (1994-2004), “The Intergenerational Transmission of Value of Children in Taiwan” (2004-2007), “Taiwan Youth Project: The Interplay of Family, School and Community” (1997-2014). Chin-Chun Yi has been an active member of the ISA since 1990, and served in the board of Committee on Family Research (RC06) from 1992-2006. She is currently in the executive committee of ISA (2010-2014). Dr. Yi also serves in the editorial board of several international and local journals, and has been in the board of government committees and NGOs. Dr. Yi has published in the area of family sociology and youth studies including a recent book by Springer: “The Psychological Well-being of East Asian Youth” (2013).

A Report of Three RC06/CFR Family Conferences in Taiwan: 1992, 2003, 2013

With a strong cultural heritage of familism, family studies have been highly valued by academia and by the public in Taiwan. Family sociology was taught in colleges after the World War II, but it was almost three decades after that it became a basic subject of teaching and research. Three important characteristics appear in the development of Taiwanese family sociology since the 1960s (Yi and Chang, 2008):

1. Interdisciplinary approach (anthropology, demography, psychology, geography);
2. A bi-focus of academic research and clinical application;
3. Emphases of empirical evidence and problem-oriented approach.

Up to now, there are several hundred family scholars teaching or doing research in Taiwan. While majority is involved in the clinical area, strong research domains include family structure, intergenerational relations, women’s work and family, conjugal power relations, and foreign brides in the family system. In recent years, mate selection, youth development, family care, divorce, etc. receive more attention as typical responses to the low marriage and low fertility situation in the region. I think it’s fair to say that family sociology maintains its core mission in delineating the structural causes and macro-level influence on the family dynamics in Taiwan.

However, the historical linkage between Taiwanese family sociology and the Committee on Family Research, International Sociological Association, is relatively recent. I’ll use myself as an example. The first ISA experience I had dated back to 1990 in the Madrid Congress when I was a visiting scholar at the University of North Carolina, USA. I learned about ISA from American colleagues and decided to participate in RC06/CFR. There I met Jan Trost (the president), Fumie Kumagai, Stella Quah and many others. I was then persuaded by Jan Trost to sponsor a CFR seminar in Taiwan, and so it begins my long commitment to this extended family which includes 6 ISA congress and 20 CFR seminars from 1990 to 2013. More importantly, I’ve come to know excellent family scholars around the world and have established good friendship which I shall always treasure.

The first CFR/RC06 conference took place in Taiwan was in 1992 and the venue was Academia Sinica. The theme chosen at that time was “Family Formation and Dissolution: Perspectives from East and West”, co-sponsored by RC06, ISA and Sun Yat-Sen Institute for Social Sciences and Philosophy, Academia Sinica, Taiwan. During three days’ program (May 21st to 23rd), Prof. Peter Laslett delivered a keynote speech on “The Family in the Industrializing East and the Industrial West” and proposed that Japanese families may be better suited to industrial societies. There were 25 invited papers which not only covered a wide range of geographical areas, the subjects (marriage patterns, household structures, marriage timing, family support networks, work and family roles, etc.) as well as the intellectual discussion on natures of family systems in the world attracted nearly 200 local scholars to attend. A post-conference tour to visit the coastal eastern Taiwan and to cross the central mountain range was arranged which brought fond memories for the participants. And after the lengthy and rigorous review process, a book with selective conference papers was published in 1995: Yi, Chin-Chun (ed.) “Family Formation and Dissolution: Perspectives from East and West” Monograph series (36), ISSP, Academia Sinica. Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C..

The second RC06/CFR conference in Taiwan took place in March 12th-14th, 2003 with a conference theme on “Intergenerational Relations in Families’ Life-Course”. Since Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica was formally established in 2000, this conference was co-sponsored by RC06, ISA (Bernhard Nauck was the president) and IOS. Over 200 local participants joined with 20 foreign scholars in 15 parallel sessions where 37 papers are presented. Prof. Glen Elder delivered a keynote speech on “Generations and the life course: Their interdependence” and Prof. Vern Bengtson spoke on “Intergenerational relations and the life course in changing times” in the plenary session. Quite a few first time newcomers to RC06 attended this conference including Merril Silverstein, Gisela Trommsdorff, Reiko Yamato, Michael Farrell, Esin Kuntay, Min Zhou, Lorne Tepperman etc. Since changing intergenerational relations have brought about serious impact on the family systems globally as well as locally, heated debates and dialogues followed inside and outside the conference rooms. As a formal closure, three special issue in different journals are published: Yi, Chin-Chun and Bernhard Nauck (eds.) 2006 “Gender, Marriage and Family Support in East-Asian Families”, Current Sociology (Vol.54, No.2); Yi, Chin-Chun and Michael Farrell (eds.) 2006 “Globalization and the Intergenerational Relation: Cross-cultural Perspectives on Support, Care and Interaction Patterns”, Journal of Family Issues (Vol.27, No.8); and Nauck, Bernhard and Chin-Chun Yi (eds.) 2007 “Intergenerational Relationships in Cross-Cultural Perspectives: Fertility, Interaction and Support”, Current Sociology (Vol.55, No.4).

The third RC06/CFR conference in Taiwan again was co-sponsored by RC06, ISA and IOS, and was held in the new social science building in Academia Sinica. A local organizing committee composed of senior and junior sociologists in IOS was formed one year ahead of time. In order to accommodate diverse research interests of potential participants as well as to attract a broad range of family scholars to join RC06, “Demographic and Institutional Change in Global Families” was proposed as the conference theme. RC06 board members soon approved the theme and the timetable of March 28th to 30th, 2013. Few weeks later, the LOC began to work on the logistics of the conference after funding support from the Institute of Sociology was certain. Since RC06 will offer the 2nd junior paper award in the conference, a sub-committee headed by the vice-president Rudy Seward with Bernhard Nauck and a local representative Wen-San Yang was formed to process the paper reviews. In the meantime, upon the suggestion of LOC members, Frank Furstenberg, Philip Morgan and Stephanie Coontz agreed to give keynote speeches on changing global families from family, demography, and history perspectives respectively.

By November, 2012, there were 99 abstract submitted for consideration. But due to visa problems, financial situation and last minutes’ withdrawals, the final program is constituted by 3 keynote speeches, 68 papers and 7 poster papers. From the following charts, it can be seen the pool includes presenters of various ranks and from 23 countries. An official website was established with detailed information updated.

Screen Shot 2013-05-01 at 4.47.25 PM

The 3rd family conference in Taiwan was once again warmly received by more than 100 local colleagues. The program was expanded to 18 parallel sessions. In addition to classical topics such as family structure, marriage patterns, aging families or family values, emerging subjects like migrant families and youth transitions are incorporated. From the photos available here, it is shown that participants had many opportunities (lunch, tea breaks, half-day tour, etc.) to engage in intellectual dialogue and to facilitate potential further collaboration.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Rudolf Richter (President of RC06) and Michael Hsiao (Director of Institute of Sociology). A memorable moment appeared during the closing ceremony when Rudy Seward (vice-president of RC), before offering young scholar’s award to the winner Hsin-Chieh Chang (UCLA Ph.D. candidate), asked previous attendees at the Taiwan conference to stand up. Hiroshi Kojima and Fumie Kumagai enthusiastically responded as the 1992 representatives and the other 10 participants gladly raised their hands for the 2003 conference. The conference ended with a farewell dinner of ten Chinese tables and Ria Smit (secretary of RC06) gave an eloquent speech on the conference as well as on the collaboration between two institutions. In addition to the beautiful flute performance by Fumie Kumagai and Pipa (the Chinese flutee) by Pin-Huei Huang, several book draws resulted from the book display during the conference were taken place which certainly became the event of the night!

While I am writing the report of the above three RC06/CFR family conference in Taiwan which took place over the last two decades, a thought quietly emerges: Time flies, but in the academic community, scholarship matures and friendship lasts!

The last note: As the organizer of 2013 RC06/CFR conference on “Demographic and Institutional Change in Global Families”, I would like to thank my home institute—Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan—for providing all supports throughout the process. Special thanks need to be mentioned to the local organizing committee (Ying-Hwa Chang, Chyi-In Wu, Alice Cheng and Michael Hsiao) for their timely and constructive suggestions, and to the group of research assistants led by Robert Chang (Chia-You Hsieh, Derek Huang, Pei-Wen Chiang, Emily Chang, Hsin-Yi Wang) who laboriously worked on various logistic programs, visa application, lodging and meal arrangements, on-site facilities, etc. Their hard work was clearly reflected in the success of the conference flow and from dozens of appreciative mails received. I myself am particularly grateful for the team spirit expressed before, during and after the conference from this group of younger generation which will surely bring fond memories in my heart.

Yi, Chin-Chun and Ying-Hwa Chang 2008 “The Continuity and Change of Patrilineal Families: Family Sociological Research in Taiwan, 1960-2000.” In G. S. Hsieh, (ed.). Blooming Disciplines: The History of Sociological Development in Taiwan. Taipei: Socio Publishing Co., Ltd. Pp.23-73. (in Chinese)

Guest blogger of March – “We do not choose!” by Jan Trost

Screen Shot 2013-03-03 at 6.34.27 PM Our first guest blogger of 2013 is a widely known member of our community: Professor Jan Trost. Jan is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Uppsala University, Sweden. He was President of the committee from 1986 to 1994, and is now our honorary President. Jan is internationally renowned for his research in family studies and symbolic interactionism.

We do not choose!

Many years ago, during the 1970s, I was an expert to a Governmental Committee designed to suggest changes of the matrimonial laws in Sweden. When, at the end of the 1970s, I presented my studies on non-marital cohabitation to the Governmental minister of law, I very clearly, according to my own opinion, told him that those who were the first ones some years ago to start cohabitation were choosing away marriage, they were against marriage and marrying. And I also told him that, now after some years, those who started to cohabit did not choose not to marry. They just did what almost everyone else did: they started living together. Later they might marry.

The minister listened and said that he fully understood what I meant. When he later the same day met mass media he said that nowadays, according to studies at Uppsala University, it is clear that lots of couples choose away marriage, choose not to marry, and start to cohabit! Evidently what I said went into one ear and out through the other ear.

The other day I re-read Hjalmar Söderberg’s book Den allvarsamma leken (The serious play) published in 1912. There I found exactly what I meant and which the minister did not understand. Söderberg wrote (in my translation from Swedish):

We do not choose our destiny. And we do not choose
our wife or our lover or our children
we get them, and we have them, and it happens that
we lose them. But we do not choose!

Still lay people and colleagues go on saying that couples choose not to marry. They did so when it was a new movement but not now when all do so. And this is not only a Swedish phenomenon.

Another phenomenon connected to this issue is the dominance of the word, the term, marriage. It has a defining power in our verbal behavior. We easily speak of non-marital cohabitation which indicates that they live together without being married, and thus against the old norms, meaning marriage. We also differentiate between children born by married mothers from those born by not-married mothers. At the same time we, at least we family sociologists, know that in the Western world almost all start living together without marrying and many have children when cohabiting. And they do not choose away marriage, they just start living together. Some marry later, some separate and some die.

A variety of Ogburn’s cultural lag from 1922? My answer would be yes, but then we have to change the idea from material changes coming first and social changes later. Here one social cultural change is followed by a cultural lag in the form of lagging language adaptation, meaning that another social cultural change does not coinside; it is lagging.

Jan Trost

Marie Jahoda Summer School of Sociology Vienna, “Migration & Inequality”, 2013

This year’s Marie Jahoda Summer School of Sociology Vienna will be on “Migration & Inequality”. The brochure is available here.

Migration and Inequality (July 8-12, 2013)
Migration is a key challenge in contemporary societies. The magnitude of people who live and work abroad has never been as large as today, with migrants making crucial contributions to economic, social, cultural and political transformation in modern societies. This situation is a momentous challenge for the social sciences: The issues to be addressed include the causes, progress and consequences of migration; the relevance of (familial) net- works as well as cultural, symbolic and economic capital for migrational processes; migrants’ living conditions; and the manifold and partially conflictual relationships between natives and immigrants. Moreover, spatial structures and processes of delimitation are paramount to international migration and are to be explored in terms of divergent political frameworks. Attending to the subjects of migration and inequality, the Marie Jahoda Summer School of Sociology is pleased to invite dedicated PhD students to send in their applications. The work will focus on five core themes supervised by a high-ranking international faculty.

Applicants are asked to submit their CV (max. 2 pages) and a description of their PhD project (max. 2 pages) to
Application deadline: April 25, 2013 Students will receive 6 ECTS credits.

The Summer School fee is EUR 140.-, including social dinner. Students are expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation.

Prof. Roland Verwiebe
Theresa Fibich, BA BEd
MMag. Raimund Haindorfer
Laura Wiesböck, MA

Department of Sociology
Rooseveltplatz 2, Vienna A-1090