On Thursday, June 14, 2012, I presented work conducted as part of my postdoctoral research position at the European Population Conference in Stockholm, Sweden. The paper, entitled “Timing preferences for family formation among immigrant and majority groups in Europe,” is a collaboration with Helga de Valk of NIDI and the Free University Brussels. Using data from the European Social Survey and multilevel modeling techniques, we demonstrate that the timing preferences for family formation of migrants and their descendants are shaped both by their countries of origin and residence. The finding about residential influences is particularly interesting in that it demonstrates that sociocultural and sociopolitical residential contexts play a role in determining the ideals of all members of a society, irrespective of origin.
Also at the EPC, on Saturday, June 16, I again had the opportunity to present dissertation work entitled “Love, marriage, then the baby carriage? Marriage timing and childbearing in Sweden.” The session, “Changing unions and childbearing,” was a particularly exciting context to present the work as each of the papers really complimented and spoke to each other– well done conference organizers! The EPC approach to organizing papers is somewhat different from that of the PAA. At the submission stage, the PAA model is to offer both general (e.g., “Marriage”) and specific (e.g., “Non-Marital and Diverse Family Forms“) session topics. EPC, on the other hand, only offers general session topics. After the submission deadline, the session organizer then sorts papers in to sub-topical sessions. Of course, this means there is an added burden on session organizers. Indeed, this model likely wouldn’t work in the PAA context since the conference is much larger. But for a conference of EPC’s size, the benefit is extremely coherent sessions that reflect the current state of the field.
It was a pleasure to attend and participate in this year’s EPC. A special treat for me, the local organizing committed was the Stockholm University Demography Unit and the venue was the Frescati campus of Stockholm University. I’ve visited SUDA many times over the years (including a 7 month stay in 2008) and I am a International Collaborator with the Stockholm University Linnaeus center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics (SPaDE). Moreover I count the folks at SUDA as dear friends! It was wonderful to have the best of European Demography in Stockholm and to celebrate my SUDA colleagues successes. Three cheers to SUDA!