• Actualising the `democratic family'? Swedish policy rhetoric versus family practices.

      Ahlberg, J.; Roman, C.; Duncan, Simon (Oxford University Press, 2008)
      In this paper we examine empirically a key element of individualisation theory - the democratic family. We do so using the `acid test' of family policy, and family practice, in Sweden. First we review the progress of family policy in Sweden since the 1960s, which has expressly promoted an agenda of gender equality and democracy in families, with individual autonomy for both adults and children as one key element. We then turn to family practice, looking particularly at negotiation and adult equality, lifelong parenting after separation, and children's autonomy. While Swedish policy makers and shapers seem to have developed the idea of the democratic family long before the sociologist Anthony Giddens, the results in practice have been more ambivalent. While there has been change, there is more adaptation to pre-existing gender and generational norms.