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"Sociologist, Tell Me About Family!" 30 Years of French Sociology of the Family

Michel Messu

Family sociology, more especially in France, tends to admit two types of paradigm to explain the family fact. One grants social institutions, and particularly the State, a diriment role. The other considers that the establishment of the family fact is a matter for the autonomous individual. We suggest regarding the family fact as the product of multifactorial dynamics. This leads us to favour a sociological approach that attributes the key role to the operations of deconstruction/reconstruction of the family fact, taking into account the model of the social world in which it takes place.