Linking Family Trajectories and Personal Networks

Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life book series (PSFL)


The share of family and non-family ties in personal networks varies not only across the life course following major transitions and events but also according to the type of welfare state in which individual lives unfold. Using network and sequence analyses, this chapter investigates for two birth cohorts (1950–1955 and 1970–1975) how the composition of personal networks is influenced by past co-residence trajectories (from 1990 to 2010) in three European countries (Switzerland, Portugal, and Lithuania). The resulting co-residence trajectories capture a great variety of situations characterized by conjugal status as well as the presence and age of children. Network analyses reveal a focus on the nuclear family of procreation, although highlighting national differences regarding the inclusion of extended kin and non-kin.


Personal networks Life trajectories Network analysis Sequence analysis International comparison Life course Comparative analysis Portugal Switzerland Lithuania 



The authors of the chapter wish to acknowledge sponsors that made it possible to carry out this investigation, the results of which are presented in the chapter. In Switzerland, the research was supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES Overcoming Vulnerability: Life-Course Perspectives. In Portugal, the research was carried out within the national survey, “Family Trajectories and Social Networks”, coordinated by Professor K. Wall from the Institute of Social Sciences (ICS) from the University of Lisbon. In Lithuania, the research was carried out based on data collected within the research project, “Trajectories of Family Models and Personal Networks: Intergenerational Perspective”, coordinated by V. Kanopiené from Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania) and funded by Research Council of Lithuania.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Life Course and Inequality Research CentreUniversity of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Social Sciences (ICS)University of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  3. 3.Sociological Research LaboratoryMykolas Romeris UniversityVilniusLithuania

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