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A Sociological Perspective on Changes in the Family in Norway

  • Liv Johanne SyltevikEmail author
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Part of the European Family Therapy Association Series book series (EFTAS)

Abstract

The topic of this chapter is what characterizes families in Norway today and how this has changed in the last 50 years. Family and family relationships are embedded in wider institutional and societal contexts. The family in Norway and other northwestern European countries is influenced by structural and ideological changes in technology and in the economy as well as by women’s liberation and the altered ideology about couple relationships and parenting. In contemporary families, in which spouses have increased economic independence, it is common to cohabit, and many marriages end in divorce. There is also higher acceptance of same-sex relationships and a variation in family forms. These changes have been particularly rapid and profound in Norway, a country with a historical tradition of a weak patriarchy, high economic growth, and a generous welfare state with a comprehensive family policy. The main sociological debates about the family are related to how fundamental and far-reaching these changes are. Thus, Norway represents a best-case scenario, where the conditions for individualization are better than in most contexts. After providing a snapshot of contemporary families in Norway, this chapter focuses on three topics: the content or strength of couple relationships, the status of the gendered division of labor, and the changed character of parenting in Norway.

Keywords

Sociology Individualization Family practice Family ideology Liquid relationships Gender Intensive parenting 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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