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Andrea Lengerer (2004)

On the Acceptance of Family Policy

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 29, 3-4/2004, p. 387-420, Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, ISSN: 0340-2398

Against the background of the increased relevance of family policy, it seems advisable to study its perception by the population. A certain degree of positive evaluation is considered as a precondition for the legitimacy, long-term maintenance as well as the effectiveness of family policy interventions.

As the analyses of the German Population Policy Acceptance Study (PPAS) shows, the social acceptance of family policy is high. There is a widespread agreement with financial benefits, as well as with measures to combine work and parenthood. Differences between Western and Eastern Germany are still noticeable: In all, the citizens of the new Federal Länder have higher expectations towards family policy, and they concentrate more on the extension of public day care facilities. Compared to that, Western Germans prefer the sequential combination of work and family, which is reflected in the widespread positive judgement of financial transfers and of reduced or flexible working hours.

On the individual level, the extent of the acceptance of family policy is determined by value-orientations, as well as by interests. The highest level of consent can be found among those who belong to the (potential) recipients of benefits and among those who value family and children highly. All in all, however, there are few differences in the evaluation of family policy measures, and the main result is the high level of acceptance among the population in general. Most of the childless people rate family policy positively too, so that there can be no question of a lack of solidarity, or indeed of divide within society.

* Original title: Zur Akzeptanz von Familienpolitik (full text in German only)

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