News March18 Population Europe

Moving Back to “Mamma”? Re-thinking Sweden as having a “weak-family system” by Population Europe

Past research has claimed that countries like England, Sweden and the United States have weak family ties and they are more centred around the individual. This would mean that in times of need, families are not seen as a strong safety net and people try to cope with the situation on their own. In a recent study by Marco Albertini, Michael Gähler and Juho Härkönen, they chose to look specifically at Sweden to determine if family dissolution increased the likelihood of divorced/separated individuals moving back in to their parents’ home (intergenerational (re)co-residence).

The low levels of intergenerational co-residence in Sweden are seen as characteristics of an individualistic culture and as a result of the universalistic welfare state, which has made it possible to reduce the need to rely on one’s family. The authors argue that despite the low prevalence of co-residence with parents, family solidarity is activated in times of need and in the situation of divorce or separation, this form of housing support is considered as a solution.

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