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Changing Union Forms Among Older People in Late Modern Sweden
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology. (Socialt arbete)
Stockholms universitet.
2015 (English)In: Aging Families/Changing Families, 2015Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper focuses on union form in cross-gender relationships in later life, against the background of the transformation of intimacy in late modernity. Results are based on a survey to 60–90 year old Swedes (n=1225; response rate 42%) and European census data. Sweden seems to be the only country where there are more divorced than widowed people in this age group. Almost 1/3 of Swedes, aged 60-90, categorized as “singles” by official Swedish census data on civil status, are in fact living as LATs or cohabitants. In new romantic relationships initiated 60+ the dominant union form is LAT (70%) followed by cohabitation (26%), while marriage is rare (4%). Less than 2 in 10 singles think that is important to be married – and among marrieds less than 8 in 10. Relationship history data shows that although half of the respondents have been married only once, one third (33%) have had 2+ cohabiting unions (marital/non-marital), half (46%) 2+ established relationships, and a majority (66%) 3+ sexual partners. The results indicate that the transformation of intimacy includes older Swedes. Discussion: Should we see older people as a vanguard in the exploration of late modern intimacy, rather than carriers of cultural lag?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
later life, cross-gender relationsship, intimacy, late modernity
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20798OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-20798DiVA: diva2:877846
Aging Families/Changing Families: An International Conference, 3-6 June 2015, Syracuse (NY), USA

Ingår i Session8: New Forms of Partnerships in Later Life.

Available from: 2015-12-08 Created: 2015-12-08 Last updated: 2016-01-27Bibliographically approved

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