Cohabitation, Family & Society  book cover
1st Edition

Cohabitation, Family & Society

ISBN 9780203028230
Published January 17, 2008 by Routledge
246 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book deals with the process of the diffusion of cohabitation in Europe and discusses its impact upon fundamental changes in family formation. It makes use of highly dynamic statistical modelling that takes into account both changes occurring along the life course (individuals’ biographies) and across birth cohorts of individuals (generational change) in a comparative perspective. It is thus innovative methodologically, but is written in such a way as to be easily readable by those with little knowledge of quantitative methods. The approach proposed is empirically tested on a selection of European countries: the social democratic Sweden, the conservative-corporatist France and West Germany, the former socialist East Germany, and the familistic Italy and Spain. The theory and its application are described in a clear and simple manner, making the arguments and their illustrations accessible to those from a variety of disciplines.

The study shows evidence of the ‘contagiousness’ of cohabitation, providing new insights on a process relevant to many social science debates. It is thus directed to those interested in the mechanisms driving social and cultural change, the nature of demographic changes, as well as diffusion processes.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  2. Diffusion Proceses and Longitudinal Approach  3. The Diffusion Process of Cohabitation and Time  4. Socio-Demographic Factors and the Influence of Institutional Contexts  5. Research Design: Combining Micro and Macro in a Comparative Perspective  6. Living Independently, Marrying and the Diffusion of Cohabitation  7. Conclusions

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Tiziana Nazio is Lecturer in the Department of Cultures, Politics & Society at the University of Turin.


"Nazio (sociology, U. of Oxford) examines the social and institutional contexts and the characteristics of individuals to analyze why people choose to cohabit rather than marry. The author notes that as recently as 40 years ago, Europeans typically began their first union with marriage and raised children within the framework of marriage. The study includes discussions of the influences that compel individuals to enter into cohabitation rather than marriage, such as traditional beliefs, sanctions, changing and varying social norms, economic or material considerations, and beliefs and ideology specifically regarding marriage." -- Book News Inc., August 2008

"Nazio presents a wealth of information in a concise and straightforward manner. Although the book may focus on diffusion theory, she also provides very detailed (demographic) information on the geographical variation of cohabitation."

-- Springer Science Business Media, March 2009