Understanding the roles of families and households in acquiring and distributing resources and in regulating the interactions of individuals within and across generations is fundamental to the study of demographic processes and social inequality. Childbearing, the development of children into adults, and the care of the elderly all take place within families and in the context of the mating and parenting strategies of adult men and women. Families increase individual wellbeing and health through communal living and the sharing of resources, but face challenges in reconciling the conflicting desires of individual members and responding to the needs of dependents. Changes in technology and resource availability, economic development and shifting policy regimes induce changes in the family—both in the domestic arrangements of existing families and in patterns of family structure—that are mediated by community norms and culture. The Center’s research in Family Demography is coordinated by Professor Shelly Lundberg, and bring a multidisciplinary perspective to studies of variation and change in human families and family behavior.
Area director: Shelly Lundberg