Influence of opportunity structures on transitions and tranjectories to family formation: What do the SLID longitudinal panel data tell us?
Authors: Fernando Rajulton, Thomas K. Burch, and Zenaida R. Ravanera
This study is built on the premise that three major sociological determinants of the life course events related to family formation are social class, gender and ethnicity. These three determinants capture the structural social inequalities that still prevail in our postmodern times and influence the life courses and life chances of young men and women. We therefore examine the influence of these determinants on young Canadians’ family formation using both the retrospective and prospective longitudinal information obtained from two completed panels (1993-1998 and 1996-2001) of the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics. We focus on men and women aged 18-29 at the start of the panels. Using life table techniques, we examine early life course transitions and trajectories or sequences of transitions to parenthood. This paper presents the results on transitions to postsecondary education, entry into labor force, cohabitation, marriage, and parenthood as well as the trajectories among these events, and the influence of parental and respondents’ own social status. It concludes with a summary of salient results and a discussion of possible policy implications.
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