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Pathways through the life course have changed considerably in recent decades. Many of our assumptions about leaving home, starting new relationships and having children have been turned upside down. It is now almost as common to have children prior to marriage as afterwards, and certainly much more common to live together before marrying than to marry without first living together. Women are more likely to remain in the labour force after having children and many families struggle with problems of work-family balance at some stage in their lives, particularly when they have young children. But how much has really changed? Is there really more diversity in how individuals transition through these life course stages, or just variations at the margin with most people following a standard work and family life course?
This volume makes use of rich longitudinal data from a unique Australian project to examine these issues. Drawing on broader theories of social change and demographic transitions in an international context, each chapter provides a detailed empirical assessment of the ways in which Australian adults negotiate their work and family lives. In doing so, the volume provides important insight into the ways in which recent demographic, social and economic changes both challenge and reproduce gender divisions.
Chapter 1: Introduction. Ann Evans and Janeen Baxter.- Chapter 2: The Second Demographic Transition meets Globalization: A Comprehensive Theory to Understand Changes in Family Formation in an Era of Rising Uncertainty. Melinda Mills and Hans-Peter Blossfeld.- Chapter 3: The Standard Family Life Course: An Assessment of Variability in Life Course Pathways: Elizabeth Thomson, Maria Winkler-Dworak and Sheela Kennedy.- 4: Generational Change in Leaving the Parental Home: Ann Evans.- Chapter 5: Relationship Pathways and First Birth in Australia: Peter McDonald and Anna Reimondos.-6:Employment and the Life Course: Birth Cohort Differences of Young Australian Women: Jennifer Baxter.-Chapter 7: Who Gets Divorces? The Social Determinants of Marital Seperation over the Life Course: Belinda Hewitt.- 8: Pathways through the Life Course: The Effect of Relationship and Parenthood Transitions on Domestic Labour: Janeen Baxter, Belinda Hewitt, Michelle Haynes and Mark Western.-Chapter 9:Fatherhood and Men's Involvement in Paid Work in Australia: Edith Gray.-Chapter 10: Couple Strategies: Negotiating Working Time over the Life Course: Brigid van Wanrooy.-11: Occupational Standing over the Life Course: What is the Role of Part Time Work? Jenny Chalmers.- Appendix: Negotiating the Life Course Project: Anna Reimondos and Sue Trevenar.