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Arland Thornton photo

Social and Economic Change, Intergenerational Relationships, and Family Formation in Taiwan

Publication Abstract

Thornton, Arland, C. Chang, and Te Hsiung Sun. 1984. "Social and Economic Change, Intergenerational Relationships, and Family Formation in Taiwan." Demography, 21(4): 475-99.

This paper examines the influence of social change and economic growth on intergenerational relationships and the formation of families in Taiwan. Using data from two island-wide surveys in 1973 and 1980, the analysis shows that, as expected, social change has been accompanied by rapid changes in family structure and relationships, including the spread of schooling, the employment of young people outside the family, increasing separation of the residences of parents and children before and after marriage, growing independence of young people, and increases in premarital sex and pregnancies. The position of a family in the social structure also influences the way young people interact with their parents and form their own families: women with educated fathers have more nonfamilial experiences than others, and farm origins tend to exert a traditional influence on the life course. Finally, experiences early in the life course have important ramifications for later behavior and transitions.

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