Kinship and Social Security (KASS)

Project funded by the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme.

Duration: 01.05.2004 – 30.04.2008

Project coordinator: Patrick Heady

The aim of KASS was to investigate the role of family networks as sources of security and mutual assistance. The state and the family (including the whole network of relatives) are the two largest providers of social security in modern Europe. Like the state, the family provides care, education, financial support, and help in finding employment. It also influences (and occasionally controls) choices involving career and marriage. However, the role of the family is not constant over time and space. We know, from statistical sources and sociological and ethnographic studies, that it varies greatly between different parts of contemporary Europe. Changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation and divorce, declining fertility and aging populations also have implications for the family’s role in social security.

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