The Future of Motherhood: Conclusions and Discussion

  • Gijs BeetsEmail author
  • Joop Schippers
  • Egbert R. te Velde


In this final chapter the editors bring together some of the conclusions drawn by the authors of the previous chapters in order to answer the central question that has been guiding the composition of this book: is women’s emancipation still compatible with motherhood in Western societies? After reading the various chapters it will be clear that there is no simple “yes” or “no” to this question. As a matter of fact the chapters present a whole range of related questions. That is why after presenting the authors’ conclusions we will take up some arguments and bring them under discussion in the remainder of this final chapter. As part of this discussion we will present an integrated approach favouring a family friendly institutional context in society. On the one hand this institutional context concerns public policies and arrangements, but on the other hand also culture, regulations and behaviour in the workplace. Finally, we will address the future development of the timing of the first child. As Beck-Gernsheim has argued not much emphasis is laid on technological advancements as a solution for families to postponement behaviour.


Labour Market Welfare State Gender Equality Assisted Reproductive Technology Family Policy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gijs Beets
    • 1
    Email author
  • Joop Schippers
    • 2
  • Egbert R. te Velde
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)The HagueThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Public HealthErasmus University Medical CentreRotterdamThe Netherlands

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