7th Day of Historical Demography: ‘Family and life chances’

Organised by Sociology of Consumption and Households

Thu 4 December 2014

The purpose of the Seventh Day of Historical Demography is to provide a nuanced picture of how family(understood as the nuclear family unit, household, or wider kinship group) shaped the life chances of individuals in the past. How did the size and composition and the social, cultural and genetic signature of the family affect individual life chances in terms of health (height, weight), social status (status attainment, social mobility) and demographic outcomes (marriage patterns, fertility, migration, mortality and survival)? But also: how did the place of the child in the family in terms of gender and birth order affect his or her fate? To what extent did a “pecking order” exist that led to social and demographic disparities and how did siblings influence each other's life chances via support or competition? How did the extent to which the family shaped life chances differ among social groups and change over time? These are just some of the questions that we want to raise on this day. With the theme of “family and life chances” we not only want to gain more insight into inequalities between but also within families.