Geographies of family formations: spatial differences and gender cultures in Britain

Duncan, Simon and Smith, D.P. (2002) Geographies of family formations: spatial differences and gender cultures in Britain Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 27 (4). pp. 471-493. ISSN 1475-5661

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Abstract

The significance of national differences in family formations has been addressed through the social policy debate over women's position in different welfare state regimes. However, the nature and effects of sub–national family geographies remains under–researched. In this paper we use census mapping to describe regional and local differences in partnering and parenting within Britain. We develop an index of the 'Motherhood Employment Effect' to indicate different geographical levels of adherence to the 'traditional' male breadwinner/female homemaker family, and use a 'Family Conventionality' index to describe geographical differences in the social evaluation of marriage. The geography of family formations thus described does not follow the better known 'north–south' or 'urban–rural' geographies of economic performance and prosperity. We use the example of Lancashire and Yorkshire to explore further the socio–economic associations of this family geography, employing additional indicators of 'household conventionality' and 'family restructuring'. Finally, we speculate as to how this relatively unfamiliar family geography may be related to the existence of regional gender cultures, and briefly outline some implications for social policy.

Item Type:Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Britain; Lancashire and Yorkshire; family; gender culture; census; mapping
Subjects:F000 Physical Sciences > F800 Physical Geography and Environmental Sciences
L000 Social Sciences > L700 Human and Social Geography
DOI (a stable link to the resource):10.1111/1475-5661.00066
Faculties:Faculty of Science and Engineering > School of Environment and Technology > Society, Space and Environment
ID Code:1070
Deposited By:editor environment
Deposited On:23 Nov 2006
Last Modified:08 May 2012 11:39

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