IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/erp/mzesxx/p0005.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Nations' Different Families? Contrasting Comparison of Finnish and Spanish 'Ideological Families'

Author

Listed:
  • Eriikka Oinonen

Abstract

Northern and Southern welfare states form different families of nations, and it is claimed that the families typical of each nation are profoundly different. Family structure in Northern nations is described as modern and deinstitutionalised, whereas the Southern family structure is traditional and institutionalised. The stereotypical notions also indicate that the family ideology is modern in the North and traditional in the South. This paper questions these stereotypical notions and their validity by formulating and analysing Finnish and Spanish cases as representatives of Northern and Southern families. The cases are built of sets of laws and policies which are directly targeted at families, family formation and family life. Laws and policies are treated as representative of family ideological discourses and analysed from a contrasting comparative perspective based on the understanding that discovering similarities helps to place differences in proper perspective. As the focus is on ideologies and because ideologies are historical, social and cultural creations, the historical time span reaches from the early 20th century to the present day, although the stress is on the past few decades. Out of this context I bring up dichotomies that are behind the stereotypical notions of Finnish and Spanish ideological families. By deconstructing these dichotomies I claim that the differences between Finnish (Northern) and Spanish (Southern) families are exaggerated and oversimplified due to the fact that most comparative family studies are based only on quantitative data and methods, and concentrate on differences, thus producing unidimensional comparisons. I conclude that Finnish and Spanish families are different, though not so radically different as usually claimed. Fundamentally the family ideologies are the same, the ideological foundation of each nation's families is the same and the evolution of family ideologies has moved in the same direction. Thus Finnish and Spanish families are simultaneously modern and traditional, individual and collective, secular and religious, public and private. The ways these qualities have been shaped and the reasons for it lie in historical, social and political developments

Suggested Citation

  • Eriikka Oinonen, 2000. "Nations' Different Families? Contrasting Comparison of Finnish and Spanish 'Ideological Families'," MZES Working Papers 15, MZES.
  • Handle: RePEc:erp:mzesxx:p0005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.mzes.uni-mannheim.de/publications/wp/erpa/wp-15.html
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.mzes.uni-mannheim.de/publications/wp/wp-15.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Finland; law; social policy; sociological institutionalism; sociology; Spain;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:erp:mzesxx:p0005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Melbeck). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/mzmande.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.