The process of modernisation brought about new contexts, such as ageing, individualism, and migration – to just name a few – posing questions about the organisation of support and the role of different providers in individuals’ support networks. A key premise across Europe has been the idea that kin and non-kin ties should take more responsibility in the future, but little is known about the circumstances under which they are willing and able to do so. This holds particularly true for non-kin ties – ties which are not related by blood or legal arrangements, e.g. friends, neighbours and colleagues. Non-kin ties have been largely neglected in European research on support. A link between generous social spending and non-kin support has been established, but questions such as how do non-relatives situate in individuals’ support networks remain open. Our knowledge remains equally scarce when it comes to the mechanics underlying non-kin help. This dissertation addresses this knowledge lacuna and poses two key questions: (1) To what extent do non-kin ties form part of individuals’ support networks across Europe? and (2) How are contemporary cultural, social, and demographic contexts, at both the individual and the country level, linked with potential and actual non-kin support in Europe?

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P.A. Dykstra (Pearl) , T. Fokkema (Tineke)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Public Administration and Sociology (DPAS)

Conkova, N. (2019, January 24). Non-kin Ties as a Source of Support in Europe: On the role of context. Retrieved from