Spatial Dimension As Indicator for Social Roles: Between Work and Family

Friday, June 24, 2016: 9:00 AM-10:30 AM
832 Barrows (Barrows Hall)
Loic Trabut, Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques, Paris, France; Centre d'Etudes de l'Emploi, Noisy le grand, France
The care of a frail elderly still remains the task of family members (children and spouses) despite the development of social policies aimed at financing an ever-insufficient professional help. Concurrently the adjustments on the labor market in the West postpone the retirement age, prolonging the period in which children are exercising labor activity and volunteer support to a dependent parent. Some scholars call this phenomena “double burden”. These situations often apply to women. Even though scholars already work on this, we would like to revisit this issue in the light of demographic and geographic dimensions of the family.

In 2011 the average distance between a person aged 75 and his/her children was more than 117 kilometers in France. This distance varies according the number of children of the elderly and varies between the siblings. This result should be taken in account when describing possibilities of mobilization of material assistance provided by children.

 Our goal is to identify a typology of family arrangements. We will test two hypotheses:

- The geographic arrangements is dependent on the labor markets characteristics. Differences between territories should influence the geographical position of the children.

- Within these geographic arrangements, the demographic and social characteristics of the individuals play a role in the assignment of geographic positions. The spatial distribution may reveal social arrangements. We will pay special attention to gender regarding this question. Is the “possibility” to take care an elderly and to work at the same time correlated to living close by and access to a poorest labor market?

This study will take advantage of the family and housing survey (encompassing 350 000 individuals), which provides information about the geographical position of family members living in France. We will be able to observe different patterns surrounding the elderly aged 75 years old and over. Family surveys have been associated to the census since 1954, each round exploring a particular theme linked to the core of the questions destined to identify configurations of family organization. It is one of the French National Statistical Institute's oldest sample surveys. Its objective is to inform on family formation, allowing the study of birth timing, types of partnership, remarriage, and family living arrangements. The Family survey demographic questionnaire is addressed to men as well as women over 18 years old living in ordinary households.

In this presentation, after giving a detailed presentation of the family and housing survey, we will explore two types of issues. The first relates to how family members are influenced in choosing their localization by the social economic context and what type of patterns we can observe. The second relates to the correlation between individual characteristics and their position within the patterns of family organization observed.