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Changing family life cycle and partnership transition—gender roles and marriage patterns

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Chapter Summary

This chapter consists of three sections. First section draws upon data from the Japanese census, Vital Statistics, National Fertility Surveys, and other sample surveys to summarize trends in the transition to marriage. It discusses related trends in divorce and non-marital cohabitation and the dramatic increase in the heterogeneity of the family life course in Japan. Second section summarizes trends in attitudes toward marriage and family. It highlights a growing ambivalence towards marriage and scepticism regarding the benefits of marriage. The chapter describes gender differences in attitudes toward marriage and family life. Third section provides a brief overview of posited explanations for these changes. It places particular emphasis on recent work by Raymo and colleagues emphasizing how a focus on gender relationships within marriage may help to understand the distinctive patterns of change in Japanese family formation.

Keywords: family life; gender context; Japanese family formation; marriage patterns; Raymo



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