rEUsilience joint co-ordinator Mary Daly edits key new book on family policy


Mary Daly, Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Oxford Department of Social Policy and Intervention, is lead editor of a major new publication, The Oxford Handbook of Family Policy: A Life-Course Perspective, which forms part of the prestigious Oxford Handbooks series. This text will act as a highly complimentary base to ongoing work in the rEUsilience project.

With 48 chapters, running to over 1,000 pages, this comprehensive collection takes a life course perspective to examine the relationship between family and social policy in modern welfare states over time and place. Three main stages of the life course are examined: cohabitation, marriage and starting a family; the years of parenting, care and employment; transitions into later phases of life. It provides a multidisciplinary analysis of family needs and policy alternatives and offers a panoramic view of family-related trends and issues as they relate to current policies. 

Drawing on a multidisciplinary group of experts from many countries, the Handbook reveals how policies in different societies frame programs and benefits to support families in the different stages of the life course. It is divided into two main parts. The first part, organised into three sections, offers a panoramic introduction to the setting and issues which contemporary family policies have been designed to address (Section 1), it addresses theoretical issues (Section 2), and it analyses the role of ideas and politics in the development of family policies (Section 3). The second part comprises analyses of the relationship between the family and social policies for the different stages of the life course. It covers family developments and policies related to cohabitation, marriage, and starting a family (Section 4 and 5); the early years of parenting, care, and employment (Section 6), and the period of transitions and later life, including family breakdown (Section 7) and intergenerational support across the life course (Section 8). 

Oxford Handbooks include authoritative surveys of original research in a particular subject area. They feature critical examinations from leading figures in the discipline, providing a foundation for future research and offering compelling new perspectives.  

The book was co-edited by Professor Birgit Pfau-Effinger of the University of Hamburg, Professor Neil Gilbert of UC Berkeley, and Professor Douglas J. Besharov of the University of Maryland.  

Photo credits to Oxford University Press.

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