Authors:Maria Castiglioni (University of Padova)
Cristina Faludi (Babes-Bolyai University)
Paper short abstract:
We explore whether Romania, in Eastern Europe, can be characterised as having a strong family system. We observe a number of similarities between Romania and Southern Europe in terms of behaviours associated with “strong family ties”, opinions on family care and mutual intergenerational support.
Paper long abstract:
In his influential 1998 study, David S. Reher discusses historical differences between countries with strong and weak family ties. He focuses on the "Western World", comparing Italy and the Iberian Peninsula with Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Low Countries, Germany and Austria, together with North America. In this paper, we explore whether Romania, in Eastern Europe, can be characterised as having a strong family system, given the increasingly important role family has played for individual well-being following the end of the socialist regime. More specifically, we compare Romania with Southern Europe as well as with other eastern and western European countries, highlighting similarities and differences. We observe a number of similarities between Romania and Southern European countries in terms of behaviours associated with "strong family ties" - such as marriage, cohabitation, departure from the parental home, living arrangements of the young and elderly, opinions on family care and mutual intergenerational support. Differences can be explained in light of Romania's economic and housing crisis. Overall, it is likely that the importance of family ties in Romania increased after the end of the socialist regime.
Family and kinship in contemporary Southern Europe: transformations, convergences and variations in a macro-regional perspective