Eric D. Widmer

Ganjour, O., Widmer, E.D. (2017). Family Salience across Nations: Configurations of Morphological Conditions. In: Cesnuitytè, V., Detlev, L., Widmer, E.D. (eds). Family Continuity and Change. Palgrave Macmillan, London. pp. 35-59.



Family change across societies is a complex issue that raised considerable debates throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Particular attention was given at the time to the unequal pace of family change according to countries or regions in the world, with a hypothesized similar turn to the dominance of the nuclear family in all national contexts, Western or non-Western (e.g., Goode 1963). Since then, family sociology has rebuffed the nuclearization thesis and has, to the contrary, stressed historical trends of family pluralization away from the nuclear family that are present in all Western nations (Lesthaeghe 1995). Decreasing rates of marriage and fertility, and increasing rates of divorce, childlessness, and ohabitation outside marriage have enhanced the diversity of family structures present in any national contexts compared with the 1960s. It also has increased the likelihood of individuals experiencing life outside a nuclear family at least once in their lives.
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