This is the first book to systematically track postwar changes in family formation in Western Europe and the United States. Cohabitation and motherhood outside of marriage have become more widespread at the same time that women’s social roles are evolving. Women are attaining higher levels of education, marrying at an older age, more frequently working outside the home, and have more reproductive freedom due to new advances in contraception. In this original collection of essays, sociologists and demographers from eight Western European countries and the United States use longitudinal data to compare national variations and explain the connection between the new role of women and family formation in postwar society. The contributors provide a thorough review of the social demographic literature to advance a variety of hypotheses about the relationships between changing women’s education and family formation outcomes, which are empirically examined and compared across countries.
Foreword -- Preface -- Introduction -- Changes in the Process of Family Formation and Women’s Growing Economic Independence: A Comparison of Nine Countries -- Country-Specific Studies on the Trends in Family Formation and the New Role of Women -- Sweden -- West Germany -- France -- The Netherlands -- Great Britain -- United States of America -- Italy -- Spain -- Hungary -- Discussion of Results and Conclusions -- Women’s Education and the Costs and Benefits of Marriage -- The Role of Women’s Economic Independence in Marriage Formation: A Skeptic’s Response to Annemette Sørensen’s Remarks -- How the Other Half Lives -- Education, Work, and Family Patterns of Men: The Case of West Germany