"Settling Down? Family Changes and Transitions of Adult Life in South Africa"
Presenter(s): Elena Moore
Venue: CSSR Seminar Room R429 Leslie Social Science Building
Abstract / Description:
This paper identifies and discusses young adults’ transition to adulthood by looking at the sequencing of stages in starting a family. It challenges the model that young adults move in a linear passage with fixed moments of ‘arrival’ when starting a family. When starting a family, roles are not fixed nor are they homogenous across racial or socioeconomic groups. The results demonstrate that the timing and frequency of key transition events can be very different across racial and socioeconomic groups. The findings suggest that one’s location in a particular cohort affects the way in which ‘beginning a family’ will be experienced. Difference between racial groups can be explained by differences in socioeconomic status as well as differing cultures. Education is crucial for understanding racial differences. Furthermore, in understanding transition of adult life, social structure explains most of the racial differences in ‘settling down’, though cultural differences between whites and blacks do exist and help to explain entry into marriage.