Uncertainty, the Unfinished Gender Revolution, and Family Life

“In May, Livia Sz. Oláh, Rudolf Richter, and Irena E. Kotowska compiled six articles published in Demographic Research between November 2017 and April 2019 into a ‘Special Collection on the new roles of women and men and implications for families and societies.’ Theirs was not simply an editorial task: the authors also introduced the collection with a brilliant synthesis of an important body of work. 

As I attempt to translate their summary, I find myself reflecting on the whole process of making the familiar strange. That’s what sociologists do: we make something most take for granted strange by looking at it from a different perspective—especially a perspective that includes the characteristics of societies (not just individuals). So I’ll start with the familiar assumption that a couple decides how they will take care of their family based on their joint personal preferences.”