Changes in Urban Brazilian Family Arrangements

Friday, July 18, 2014: 11:15 AM
Room: Booth 54
Oral Presentation
Sonoe SUGAHARA , Ence, IBGE, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Zuleica OLIVEIRA , ufrj, rio de janeiro, Brazil
Moema DE POLI TEIXEIRA , Ence, IBGE, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Brazil has experienced great and complex changes with contradictory aspects. The country has experienced a modernization based on a development model with an excluding character.

Changes in the family relations were also notorious. The family model characteristic of the 1950 decade lost importance, substituted by a new model, whose members are not only defined by sex and age criteria. This change was not, however, linear. It summed up the coexistence of traditional patriarchal values with nowadays-individual values. Some of these changes can be seen in the declining marriage and fertility rates and increases in co-habitation and non-marital unions. Parallel to this, there was an increase in the number of divorces and a decrease in the only male breadwinner family. There was also an increase in the number of families with a female head, not restricted to low income groups. It is important to mention the impact of the new female role in the society in these family changes. Increase in the women’s schooling, decrease in fertility rates and the female participation in the labor market influenced in a significant way the family relations.

The main objective of this study is to analyze urban families in the last 50 years, using data from the Brazilian Demographic Census. The analysis consider different dimensions: the impact of changes in gender relations with respect to familiar responsibility, effects of family income, status of marriage/union, the age and schooling of the head of the family and regional inequalities.

In spite of the changes in the family arrangements, it is worth mentioning the maintenance of the family ties in the Brazilian society. These changes in the Brazilian families are though more complex than the changes in the developed countries due to the strength of patriarchal values that might be a deep-seated characteristic of the Brazilian culture.