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Variations in kinship networks across time and space

Michael Murphy, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

We analyse ‘day-to-day’ social contact with kin of various degrees of relationship, by a number of demographic, socio-economic and cultural factors in order to establish which of these have the major role in determining kin interaction across seven developed countries that were included in the kinship network modules in the 1986 and 2001 International Social Survey Programme set of co-ordinated surveys, and we also undertake a cross-national comparison for a total of 25 countries in 2001. We discuss the plausibility of the existence of two distinctive kinship systems in contemporary Europe, whether they are applicable to non-European societies, and whether these patterns are likely to persist. Variation by country shows the most pronounced differences, with Southern Europe, in particular, showing considerably more contact, but we conclude that these is no evidence of two distinct kinship systems, rather a gradient across Europe, and other parts of the World

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Presented in Session 129: Family networks