Meeting the challenges of the 21st century: Social change and the family

Aivita Putniņa


The article recounts major changes in the European family and challenges it creates in accounting and supporting families. Fragility and diversity of family relationships, individualization and shrinking size of households are seen both as a result of change in the system of values and the processes of economics. Statistical tools used to assess the family dynamics increasingly become inadequate to monitor and interpret the change and situation in families. Statistical figures also construct the way families are imagined in policies. Fertility, marriage and divorce rates are connected to reproductive functions of the society while employment figures feature the productive needs in societies. Europeans thus not only face the actual change to families but also have to deal with problems of understanding it

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