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  1. 1. family lifeand daily lifetowards 2017 Member Report #4/2006: Family life and daily life towards 2017 Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies Instituttet for Fremtidsforskning
  2. 2. MeMbeR RepoRt #4/2006: Family liFe and daily liFe towards 2017 PrePared by: Copenhagen InStItute foR futuReS StudIeS (CIfS) ConCePt: bIRthe LInddaL hanSen ProjeCt leader and Coordinator : bIRthe LInddaL hanSenProjeCt grouP and authors: bIRthe LInddaL hanSen, JuLIe KRonStRøM og nIeLS bøttgeR-RaSMuSSen english adaPtation: deSIRabLe RoaSted Coffee graPhiC design: StIne SKøtt oLeSen, nXt Print:StRandbygaaRdthIS RepoRt IS ReSeRved foR MeMbeRS of CIfS. CIfS MeMbeR RepoRtS aRe pubLIShed fouR tIMeS a yeaR. the neXt ISSue IS MaRCh 2007. tItLe: 10 pLaCeS to go Copenhagen InStItute foR futuReS StudIeS, Copenhagen, deCeMbeR 2006
  3. 3. ContentsIntroduction ................................................................................................................................... 2the Changing Family ........................................................................................................... 4What is a family? .......................................................................................................................... 7happiness is found in the family.................................................................................................. 10family life can no longer be taken for granted ............................................................................. 11Individualization and freedom from the family .............................................................................. 12equal opportunity – choosing gender roles ................................................................................. 14breakdown of norms – and the search for new ones .................................................................. 17falling fertility – choosing not to have children ............................................................................ 20Lack of household skills .............................................................................................................. 22greater economic freedom ......................................................................................................... 24prioritization of resources ............................................................................................................ 26the Family in 2017: six Peeks into the Future ......................................................... 30family homes in 2017................................................................................................................. 33the technologized family ............................................................................................................ 37global and mobile families .......................................................................................................... 43family and work life toward 2017 ............................................................................................... 47Consumer families in a consumer society ................................................................................... 53family rituals toward 2017 .......................................................................................................... 57Conclusion ................................................................................................................................. 63bibliography ............................................................................................................................... 64 1
  4. 4. introduction Since the beginning of human memory, families have existed. And they still do. A shiny new car with ergonomic and safe children’s seats and a fold-down luggage compartment is the common symbol of a “happy” family life. We still dream of conversa- tion kitchens, family vacations, weddings, love and light alone. All during which the hunt for the one-and-only has become big business. We build thousands of family-friendly standardized houses, and more and more parents must meet, unfortunately, at the pre- fect’s office for a divorce. Family and relationships are still topics we write and talk about, and reflect upon. The modern person wants the family. The ideal is alive and well, and we have sel- dom seen so much “effort” to make the family dream a reality. Dating websites, fertility clinics, publicly financed marriage counseling, self-help books, equity-free loans, flex time, sex change operations, Viagra, casual food and family coaching are just some ex- amples of things designed to help realize our ambition for the happy family. And more will come along. The conceptual ideal of the family is one of the most important of our times. Have we ever seen family life (or life as a whole) romanticized so much? The paradox is enormous. Because, despite the idealization, the family has perhaps never been so threatened as it is now. The family can no longer be taken for granted. We have always prized the hard-to-get and the hard-to-achieve. We want so much the things we cannot have. Family life – the happy family life – has hard times in today’s stress and rush. Because even if family life is often the ideal, and people strive for it, family life shows itself to be incredibly difficult in practice. The price of the manageable, practically capable and mental fellowship that the family should ideally be is high. The price is often so high that increasingly few will or can pay it. Few of us dare invest wholeheartedly in the project, and how many are actually ready to give up youth, self-realization, ski trips, consumption, stubborn principles and hope “just” to start a family? Who can say if families will exist in the future? Maybe it is easier to do without? Family life in the year 2006 is no walk in the park. The ambitions are high and the “financing” possibilities are often limited in a time when human surplus is primarily invested in oneself. Few have learned to keep house, and no set social norms dictate the practice. Mom and Dad often fight a bitter battle for an exact and equal division, and try unsuccessfully to make compromises and swallow the bitter pill. The children scream for constant attention, and receive it consistently from increasingly more parents, for whom service and attention are their best gifts to the child. Friends and acquaintances are neglected, because few have the extra energy for baking cakes or time for others than family, and certainly none for those whose lifestyles are different from our own.2
  5. 5. It is hard to be two, and it is hard to build pedestals when the family grows. The familyneeds help, help, help, help. Cleaning help, help in upbringing, gardening help, cook-ing help, crisis help, windows that can wash themselves, or maybe a private driver toreplace Dad. However, luckily, many stand in line to help. We must ask ourselves whatthe family should do itself when everything is done, arranged and fixed! More time – fi-nally there is more time, time for everything that before stole attention from the goodfellowship. Quality time, it’s called – time for a trip to Disneyland, the mall, or Paris.Time for deep conversations, treasure hunts or reading aloud by the fire – the futureholds many possibilities. The family lives – and despite the many challenges the family faces during thesedecades, the family has perhaps never had better possibilities to succeed, thrive, and behappy, at least “once in a while.” Maybe today’s family is happier and more functionalthan we think. In this report, the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies looks at the family of thefuture towards 2017 and, not least. at the conditions underlying family life.methodBased on an analysis of the present, and a look at the future, this report is aimed at givingthe reader an insight into the most important mechanisms of change that affect the familyfrom today through 2017. The report concludes with a look at six selected family themesthat will be important for family life in the year 2017. The report is based on develop-ments in northwest Europe, but many of the trends can be considered global. We hopethis report offers a realistic guess about which trends will affect family life the next tenyears, and give the reader a picture of one possible future. One possible future, based ontoday’s data and scientific documentation, we believe is realistic. But remember, it is onlya guess about a possible and probable future. We have purposely written the report froma provocative angle that is critical of society in the hopes of keeping the reader awake,opening their eyes, and contributing to the debate about family life in the future. And no,we cannot research the future in any scientific sense, and so the report should not be readas the truth about the future, but as a guess about how we, with science behind us, couldimagine the future could be. Futures research can perhaps be called scientifically-basedfantasy, but the main goal of futures research is to give the reader an insight into trendsin time, get them to think and discuss, and thereby wake up to a possible and probablefuture scenario about family life in 2017. Remember that the future is not just something that comes – the future is also some-thing we create, and therefore we should take a position on it and look critically at thetrends that show the way. 3
  6. 6. the Cha ngi ng Fam ily
  7. 7. what is a family?In the ideal model, the family is defined as a father, mother and two biological chil-dren. This is the image that is strived for and cultivated. The image to which all elseis compared. If you have only one child, you are often asked when the next one is ex-pected; if you have three, you suddenly have many children. If you are not married,you are assumed to be waiting to be; if you live alone with your children, some willcertainly think it a shame that they are growing up without their mother or father. But in these modern times, as so often before, many ”wrong” families do notfit into the ideal model. In fact, most people live in a non-traditional family, and ifthey live in a family, it is uncertain there will be biological ties. One reason many donot live in a family is because they are not at that stage in life – either they are stillyoung and have not created a family, or the children have moved out, so the familyno longer lives together. In addition, there are all the others who also live in non-tra-ditional family constellations: friends who live together, couples without children,homosexuals, old ladies and all those who live alone, because they either prefer to orhave not realized the dream of relationship and family. At the same time, the numberof families with a different ethnic background than the traditional western one isincreasing. These families resemble families in many ways, but their family life isunlike the European norm. The modern concept of family is, in other words, broad.Maybe the best definition of family today is two people, or several who live together“mostly” and who are related through love, civil code or blood. The reason for the growing number of “different” families and ways of being afamily, together with the rising number of people who live alone, is that many find itbetter to live alone or have a successful “alternative” family than to have an unhappy“model” family. The family is still strived for, even though it is not always as happyas one could wish. But we can be tempted to ask: will the family be worth striving forin 2017? Because, once in a while, it seems that that the family is not necessarily themodern world’s best social constellation.biology and cultural normsThe formation of the human race happens between a man and a woman, and so it isobvious that reproduction is natural. But is debatable how natural it is to live togetherin a family as we know it today. Some will assert that it is the most natural thing inthe world. Others will say that the family is just one social construction, and that wecan easily imagine other forms of togetherness. This report does not take sides in this debate. We can just point out that the fam-ily is still considered ”natural” by many, is strived for by more, and is questioned byfew. And whether or not the family is a natural thing or just a social construction, 7
  8. 8. there is no doubt that the idea of the family as the ”right” way to live is so rooted in our culture that it will not change dramatically anytime soon. Even so, there are those who challenge the family, question the family, and those who seek new ways to live together, and who alone thereby open themselves to both new possibilities and threats, depending on your viewpoint.
  9. 9. Box 1 the Family is still the ideal- a survey conducted by gallup in 2003 showed that about 50% of danes believe the nuclear family is the ideal way to live. It was mainly older respondents who agreed with this. younger generations are look more positively at other family constellations, according to the survey. (Source: Berlingske Tidende Gallup 27/5 2003)- not just danes are wild about the family. 0% of european women agree with the statement “Marriage is not an obsolete institution” (Source: OECD social, employment and migration working papers No. 27: Trends and determinants of fertility rates in OECD countries: The role of policies. (2005-6.)MaRRIage- 7% of all couples living together in denmark are married. 43% of weddings took place in church and 6% abroad. the high number of marriages in denmark should be considered against the fact that it is normal to be married several times in denmark. In 2005, 21% of women and 22% of men who married had previously been married. (Source: and CIfS analysis).MaRRIage happenS LateR In LIfe- the average age of first marriage for danish women has risen from 22. years in 170 to 31.4 years in 2006. for men, the age has risen from 25.1 years in 170 to 33.7 in 2006. (Source: Statistisk Årbog 2006, Danmarks statistik)- In 170, % of all 30-year old women were married. In 2005, 60% were. (Source: Familiens udvikling i det 20. århundrede, SFI, 2004.)- In Scandinavia, it is normal to live together for several years before marriage – and normal to have children out of wedlock. In 2004, 45% of danish and french children were born out of wedlock, as were 55% of Swedish children. (Source: Familiens udvikling idet 20. århundrede, SFI, 2004.)- In Southern europe, far fewer children are born out of wedlock. In many southern european countries, 75% of children are born in wedlock. In Cyprus, for example, only 3% of children are born outside of wedlock. (Source: Eurostat, News release, 15 may 2006: The family in the EU25 seen through figures)MoSt ChILdRen gRoW up In nuCLeaR faMILIeS- today, 76% of all danish children live in a classic nuclear family in which they live with both biological and/or legal parents. this is a decline from 10, when the figure was 3%. (Source: CIFS analysis)- the actual numbers for how many children experience their parents separating or divorcing is a bit higher. only 61% of 16-year old danish children still live with both biological and/or legal parents. (Source:www.statistikbank- CIFS analysis)Box 2 singlethe word “single” is often used indiscriminately, but what does the world “single” actually mean in danish context?at the Copenhagen Institute for futures Studies, we define a “single” as someone aged 20-50 who is still looking forthe love of their life, and who does not have many daily obligations – for example, we do not see a single parent withchildren at home as “single” since they have many daily obligations. neither are older widows and widowers “singles.”but the precise definition is hard, but cause when are we old? and how can we define obligations?Box 3 numBer oF people who live alone- Increasingly more people choose to live alone. In denmark, the number of one-person households whose oc- cupant was aged 20-6 rose 53% from 10 to 2005.- In 10, there were 450,000 one-person households in denmark whose occupant was aged 20-6. In 2005, the figure was 700,000.- even though men are more likely to be single than women, the number of single women has been growing more quickly. (Source: Danskerne – derfor holder opsvinget, Institut for Konjunktur-Analyse, 2005).
  10. 10. happiness is found in the family ”The family is the fatherland of the heart” (Giuseppe Mazzini) We who live in families are happy or, at any rate, happier than those who do not. That is the conclusion of more and more sociological reports that map the connection between familial status and the feeling of satisfaction and happiness.1 But if you do not believe in research, look at life generally, or at the last 1000 years of literature, in which countless biographies indicate the connection. Who would not give up riches, fame or Nobel prize in exchange for experiencing love, for escaping loneliness or at least for having a child? A child should be something everyone can expect. The family, however, is not always happiness. There are countless accounts of un- happy families and destinies that were crushed and destroyed in the family (With the romanticizing of the family in mente, could one also be tempted to ask if there have not been many unreleased geniuses lost because family life made the project impossible?). What is, however, typical for these unhappy accounts is that it is usually not the family as an institution that is at fault: the wrong partner or another bad relationship made the “right” family, love, happiness and security impossible. All the things that should be a part of being a family. The family, in short, is the ideal, and there’s good reason for it. Your chances of end- ing up in the shadows of life – depressed, lonely, ill, mad, criminal or drunk – are less if you are part of a family. These conditions can also be the reason you do not have a family. The dream of the happy family has, in other words, its convincing and positive causes in a society where most people see the family as the best and most natural form of together- ness. Nothing indicates this will change much in the next ten years. Of course, we must emphasize that there are many people who live alone, outside a family, and yet who are happy, functioning people who either plan to start a family, or who for other reasons have chosen not to. The number of people who choose to live alone has been rising in recent years. It has become financially easier to run a household alone, and more socially acceptable to do so. At the same time, increasingly more people live a stressful life, full of possibilities and substance, in which there is somehow less room and need for others. Time is short, so why spend time on activities that interest your partner but not you? The mind must hold a lot, so there is not necessarily room for a partner’s joy and sorrow, friends and acquaint- ances, bad habits and mood swings. And so, the number of singles will most probably rise in coming years. The modern person simply finds it harder and harder to find room mentally for the rest. 1 Gundelach, Peter. Danskernes særpræg. Hans Reitzels Forlag København 2004 (p. 27-35)10
  11. 11. Family life can no longer be taken for grantedThe modern person still dreams of the nuclear family, preferably the “happy kind.” Themedia and the ideal of the perfect life dictate happy families, happy marriages – or, atleast, the effort to attain them. We are dumb if we “just get by!” A few generations ago,we could take being part of a family for granted, unless we were simply strange. Buttoday, it’s much less certain. Because families do not just “happen;” more and more at-tractive, smart, affluent, and well-functioning people choose not to have one, choose towait, or give up on the dream altogether. Maybe because the dream is utopian, or maybebecause we prefer to live in the hope of happiness, if we have not yet gotten it. In the year2006 or 2017, we can no longer take social relationships for granted, not even the family.The modern family is always up for negotiation, and so the youth of today and the futuremust put just as much effort into having their family ambitions realized as they put intoeducation, job and career. Family life and togetherness will increasingly be something wemust choose, something we must make a priority. The family life of the future requiresattention, negotiating skills, empathy and behavior – and who knows if people are willingto make that effort in the future? 11
  12. 12. individualization and freedom from the family ”When fellowship breaks down, the identity is discovered” (Bauman, 2001 (in Danish 2002)) Individualization is one of the biggest changes in family life in recent decades, and one of the biggest challenges to the “traditional” understanding of the family. Over the last century, the modern person has increasingly been released from the old bonds of class, status, religion and, not least, family.2 There was a time when the individual owed society a lot; you had many obligations, mainly to your family or lord. Moreover, you had to live up to many narrow conventions. You certainly could not behave as you might want to. You lived in a culture of duty, under higher authority. It isn’t that way anymore. The spirit of the year 2006 dictates “me” before “you.” We owe ourselves the best, first and foremost; we can thereby find purpose in our existence, and decide how we will behave and live our lives. Divorce is a good example of how individualization has affected family life. Religion used to forbid divorce, as did narrow social conventions. Not least, financial concerns made it impossible. That no longer the case, especially in northern Europe and the USA, where divorce has become common. A divorce is no longer socially “unacceptable;” instead, it is normal and accepted. In some places, it is more acceptable than staying in a bad marriage. In many ways, individualization has released the individual from the family. Since, in some western countries, the state largely takes on the tasks that once were the duty of the family, people can turn their backs to the family and choose themselves instead. In Scan- dinavia, for example, where the welfare state is well entrenched, this is more widespread than in, for example, southern Europe, where the state does not assume as many duties for its citizens. But the tendency is that people all over the world would like to be released even more from their families, and want more help from outside. Individualization is here to stay, and infant care, kindergartens, social safety nets, insurance, and retirement homes will ensure people have the chance for family and independence. When we no longer depend on our families, we can more easily cut the close family ties. For example, when one is no longer financially dependent on ones parents, one can choose to continue an enmity with ones parents. Parents can do the same when they no longer de- pend on their children’s charity. You can choose to do without parents if you don’t like their lifestyle, political views, or their tone; they can distance themselves from you if they cannot or will not understand the life you lead. In short, individualization is, on the one hand, a great threat to family life, since the individual maybe does not need family, either mentally or financially. On the other hand, individualization may bode well for the family. When people no longer are “forced” into a family, they have greater choice. Choice about their own interests, choice about what they want to use their life on. They can choose the family or another social structure as a good they want to use their energy, love and resources on.12
  13. 13. Perhaps the family can no longer be taken for granted, and is threatened by the fact thatwe can choose alternatives. But, on the other hand, the probability of good, well-function-ing and warm families has become a real possibility. The family life of today should be– and can certainly be -- a fruitful fellowship in which we stimulate each other, supporteach other’s projects, and gather to share each other’s often individual joys and worries.Family life should ideally be a place where we can relax, recharge, and be confirmed, andideally a place where one gets something in return. Fortunately, it often is this way inmany families. Individualization’s erosion of set norms, narrow conventions and social obligationsare a big challenge to the family, because it presents both possibilities and threats which,among other things, has great influence on the norms, rituals and traditions of family life.2 To learn more about individualization, see CIFS member report 4, 2005, which discuss individualization. 13
  14. 14. equal opportunity – choosing gender roles Equal opportunity is another important trend that will change many norms in families and break the traditions of centuries. Equal opportunity is an implicit part of individuali- zation. The younger the generation, the more individually oriented it is, and the more it will take the notion of equal opportunity to heart. Not in the sense that the two genders will be the same and behave exactly the same way – nothing close to it. But increasingly more tasks will be divided equally. For example, it is uncertain which parent will cook in the family of the future. Maybe the mother will; maybe the father will – the division of labor will depend on what the two have negotiated. The division of labor in the family of the future will be characterized by negotiation and contracts in which the family finds the ideal role division. Role division in the family of the future (2017) will be different from that of today, and will be more nearly equal. Increasingly more women will have jobs, and large paychecks, just as more men will become domestic, bake buns, shop and put their energy and love on the close things in life. But men will do it in their own way – men will not become women – and women won’t become men. The division will not result in equal numbers of male and female caregivers, truckers, teachers and engineers, because our society’s gender assignments, where men have some occupations and women have others, have thousands of years of history behind them. It will take generations to change the norms that many think are natural. Cultural changes take time, much more time than technological ones, for example. But for every year that passes, equal opportunity will be more rooted. An equality that not necessarily can be measured who does what in which situation, but that can increasingly be measured on choice – the opportunity to choose and do what one wants to male roles and female roles As mentioned above, we will probably have more equality in the future. But that does not mean the genders will be more alike – on the contrary, much points to the feminine against the masculine having its own dynamic, which is necessary for the attraction and vigor in life, and the sexual relationship. But the definition of what is masculine and femi- nine will be challenged, and many more things will be neuter. In the future, the feminine and the masculine will much more be about expression and style than anything tangible. If we look at the child raising of today, it is obvious, for example, that small boys and girls are raised to be boys and girls, but that the definition of what are “boy” and “girl” things is not necessarily related to the traditional gender role patterns. Just as there can be a big difference between the ways male pedagogues and female pedagogues approach teaching. Mom as chief provider, while Dad works part time or in a less demanding job, will be even more normal in the year 2017. Just as it will be more normal and acceptable for the14
  15. 15. Box 4 households- In 2005, 74% of danish households had no children. families with children constituted 26% of households. 11% had one child, 11% had two children, and only 4% had more than two children. (Source: Eurostat News release 15 May 2006)- In europe (eu-25) in 2005, 67% of households had no children, while 33% did. 16% of households had one child, 13% had two, and 4% had more than two. 13% of households with children had a single parent. (Source: eurostat news release 15 May 2006)- In the united Kingdom in 2005, 24% of households with children had a single parent. this was the highest per- centage in the eu. (Source: Eurostat News release 15 May 2006)Box 5 persons By Family type, 1980 and 2006 10 2006 total percentage total percentage young singles without children (age 20-34) 356,25 ,% 436,603 10,7% young couples without children (age 20-34) 213,447 5,% 237,400 5,% Middle-aged singles without children (age 35-54) 167,036 4,6% 324,10 7,% Middle-aged couples without children (age 35-54) 30,46 ,5% 37,720 ,2% Singles with children (age 20+) 7,465 2,7% 137,523 3,4% Couples with children (age 20+) 1,26,741 34,% 1,06,226 26,1% older couples without children (age 55+) 750,367 20,6% 42,45 23,0% older singles without children (age 55+) 46,454 13,3% 570,140 13,%(Source: Danmarks Statistik and CIFS analysis)Box 6 divorce in denmark, eu and usa- the divorce rate has increase by a factor of ten in the last 100 years. In 102, only 0.1% of the marriages in den- mark were ended in a given year, while 1.4% of marriages ended in divorce in 2002. (Source: Familiens udvikling i det 20. århundrede, Socialforskningsinstituttet, 2004)- 37% of the marriages established in denmark in 175 had ended in divorce 25 years later. only 1% of the mar- riages of 150 had ended in divorce 25 years later. of the marriages of 10, 3% had ended in divorce 21 years later. In other words, marriages today are ended more frequently than 50 years ago. according to the Socialfors- kningsinstituttet, the trend has, however, stabilized. (Source: familiens udvikling i det 20. århundrede, SfI, 2004)- the probability of divorce is highest at the start of the marriage and declines over time. few marriages older than 25 years end in divorce. (Source: Familiens udvikling i det 20. århundrede, SFI, 2004 More than half of all danish divorces occur in the first nine years of marriage according to a report in 2004. divorces are especially common two to six years after marriage. (Source:: Statistisk årbog 2006)- on a european level, the average marriage that ends in divorce last 12.3 years. for other countries: denmark, 11 years; Italy, 15. years; norway, 13.2 years; estonia, 10.1 years. (Source: Statistical Pocketbook 2006, Eurostat).- It is harder to calculate how often and easily uncertified marriages or cohabitations are ended. a danish survey taken from 15-12 indicates that uncertified marriages are ended after five to six years. (Source: Statistisk årbog 2006) 15
  16. 16. father to take paternity leave, or that both parents will divide paternity/maternity equally. We can easily imagine that among men, including men in highly responsible jobs, there will be prestige in taking paternity leave and using lots of time with the children. A decent provider/family can and should be what one as a man or woman should provide for his or her children. In the future, it is a natural and unavoidable part of child raising that parents spend time together with their children and contribute with care, stimulation, education, extra time and closeness. The parents who do not do this will be looked down upon. The status symbol of the future is also time and quality togetherness with one’s children – things that cannot be outsourced in good conscience. men of the future In relation to equal opportunity, the next 10 years present a gigantic challenge to men to adjust themselves to the new role that the equal opportunity society has handed them. Be- cause equal opportunity has until now mainly happened on the woman’s terms, and most men have not adjusted at all to what is happening around them, and therefore are falling behind. Today’s men have not found their new roles in a equal opporunity society where they no longer, because of gender, have more power and respect than women. Many men today find it difficult to live up the ”ideal” of what a man should preferebly be. An ”ideal” that increasingly belongs to another century and that defines the man as a provider who knows best, who can save any woman in need, and who shows the way. But men are generally pretty bad at saving women in need, and most women are better able to save both themselves and the man than the other way around. The discrepency between the ideal and reality hits many men hard. Increasingly more men fail to live up to the ideal, and so are rejected by women. Women who, despite the notion of equal opportunity, also still relate to the masculine ideal that belongs to another century. Women, in short, prefer men who most match the old ideal. Examples of how the ideal has not followed reality is seen in the statistics that con- clude that rich men are much more likely to be married and have children than poor men. The opposite picture is true for women who, if they are rich and well educated, are less like to have children, because it is hard to find men that live up to the ideal. The future demands that the men of today find a new masculine role in the modern society – a role on their own terms. A role that is not based on an earlier century’s view, but on the reality of 2006 or 2017. We eagerly await…16
  17. 17. breakdown of norms– and the search for new ones”Modern institutions differ from all earlier forms of social order through their dynamic, the de-gree to which they undermine traditional habits and customs and through their global effect.Modern institutions represent not just existential changes: Modernity radically changes thecharacter of the daily social life and affects the most personal aspects of our experience.”(Giddens, Modernity and self identity 1991)With increasing individualization, more freedom, greater tolerance and more opportuni-ties, the family of today and the future is not nearly as restricted by rules and conventionsas before. The familial life and its contents are today a choice; one to a greater degreecreates one’s own family life. There was a time when we could look at our neighbor or our parents to see how weshould behave, and then we would do so. That’s no longer true, at least it is to a lesserdegree. The modern family can choose – we can in principle choose if we will or we willnot and, not least, we can choose how it should function. In the year 2006 or 2017, no one can be sure when the family will be dissolved. Momor Dad can, in principle, leave whenever they want, and go wherever they want. Neitherthe law nor social norms prevent it. Divorce is no longer the last resort. Today, divorce is acompletely normal everyday occurrence that is considered even before the wedding bellsring. Separate property, pension plans, wills, time budgets and other contracts spread anindividual safety net in case the family goes to pieces. Romantic? No. But quite reasonablegiven the spirit of the age, when the modern person’s existence is to a greater degree seenas his or hers alone. Divorce has advantages and disadvantages. We will not discuss those here. But it is afact that the possibility of divorce is a great latent threat to the family relationship than itwas just 50 years ago. Divorce is often used as a threat in familial discussions, and the pos-sibility of divorce always offers an alternative family scenario. For many modern people,it is completely normal to “play” with the thought, or imagine how one’s daily life wouldbe different if one chose to divorce. Usually, divorce is rejected as not being a valuableoption, but sometimes it becomes a reality. Divorce is just one angle of the breakdown offamilial norms..norm breakingToday, little can be taken for granted in the family; it is certain even less can be taken forgranted in the future. For example, more and more parents are presented to their child’ssame-sex lover, which few parents have imagined. As parents, siblings or friends, we canno longer take it for granted that our children, siblings or friends will marry – and if theydo, it’s not certain you will be invited to the wedding. Neither is it certain that Christmas 17
  18. 18. will be celebrated within the extended family, because the others may want to do some- thing else. Dad might choose to spend the holidays skiing with the guys rather than home with the family. Mom might not want to listen to mother-in-law’s opinions. Likewise, we increasingly cannot show up with a gift we have chosen – today’s many specific wishes often dictate wooden toys, specific brand names or unique design. The style and scenogra- phy must be maintained. And who knows if we will be asked to birthday dinners, or will have to “make do” with a cup of tea and a rain check. Shall we celebrate birthdays at all in a time when we would rather be younger? The modern family life and what it entails can be more freely interpreted, so we will soon experience the effects of that freer interpreta- tion. In that way, many norms will be flouted. In the family of the future, it is therefore far from certain that parents take care of sick children, or that one will be invited to children’s birthdays, silver wedding anniversaries, or Christmas gatherings. The same ad- dress for father and mother? Don’t take that for granted, either, since parents also need a private life, and the best career opportunities are often far from home. In the same way, it is uncertain that the same father and mother feature the child’s arena all the way through childhood. There can easily be two fathers or two mothers, maybe four, or different ones. That the present interpretation of the “right” family is so “free” is a great challenge for family life in the future, and not least for the individual. Because how can an individual know he or she is doing the right thing when there is no safe road? How can we orient ourselves in a social field where nothing can be taken for granted, and no one can allow themselves to expect it or a hint of a family? The free interpretation of what family entails includes undreamed of potential for freedom and fantastic possibilities. Mainly the strong can enjoy and benefit from these possibilities: those who can, will, and will dare to do other things. But for those with fewer resources, it may be difficult to live a life where one sets one’s own agenda and find one’s place and responsibility. When norms, concrete conventions and traditions are broken down, the individual is left more to his or her own devices and judgment. This can be positive, but also negative. There was a time in Denmark when you always whitewashed your house before Whitsunday. Because that was simply what you did, families never needed to discuss about when to whitewash or if to whitewash. In the same way, the neighbor was always appeased because social obligation required you to whitewash before Whitsunday, and so you did. Today, no one has to whitewash the house before Whitsunday, and sometimes it isn’t whitewashed at all. And so, therefore, parents use time arguing about when the house will be whitewashed. And maybe the lack of whitewash is what makes the neighbor to stop greeting us and inviting us to coffee. no orientation When the family itself must define what the family’s daily life will entail, the modern family will become far more unpredictable. We will never know how long they will be at that address, if we dare loan them the wheelbarrow, or if the children should be home at 10 PM? In some areas, we will experience that there will be many more different fam- ily types and family lifestyles. Modern families are, in short, very different from mother, father, and two children; many “different” families will exist. In many places in Europe, Japan and China today, most children grow up as only children. But we should not expect a wave of gaudy and exciting families with different lifestyles. Freedom is hard to man- age, and so freedom often leads to a condition of nothing, where no one really dares to1
  19. 19. do anything that everyone else is not doing. The result, therefore, despite freedom, is thatmost families live life pretty much the same way. A family life may be uniform and ordi-nary, but it is still more difficult to understand and define when norms are unclear insteadof transparent and unshakeable. So, for most people, this development and freedom donot necessarily lead to a family life that is better, freer, more fun, and with more solidar-ity and more security than the life of the past. Before, there were set boundaries, specificconventions and clear expectations. In fact, it can become a bit of a mess when we do notreally know what road to choose and what is expected. But when the “obvious path” is no longer found, and life therefore is given over tothe individual’s actions, will, opinion and responsibility, there arises a completely newspace that can and must be furnished. New possibilities and new needs arise. Needs andpossibilities that can certainly give both social and commercial advantages. New tradi-tions, rituals and routines break through, and where before we sat and drank coffee, nowwe might take a walk on the beach. Where we once ate potatoes and gravy, we now eatneither potatoes or gravy, but couscous and air-dried ham. 1
  20. 20. Falling fertility – choosing not to have children Norms are being broken down, and while the family is still and ideal, the family’s repro- duction rate isn’t what it once was. Overall, in Europe, the birth rate is falling, and more and more women have only one child. If we are to be as many Europeans in the future as we are today, women must have 2.1 children each. Today, the rate is 1.5 children per woman in Europe. A number of causes are behind falling fertility. Especially remarkable is that women with long educations have fewer children or none at all. In Germany, 30% of university- educated women have no children. The better educated a woman is, the choosier she is in finding a partner, and so it is harder to find the right one. Highly educated women also use more years on education, and therefore have children later. The trend will certainly continue towards the year 2017, since more women take longer educations, and focus on a career. In short, we can certainly expect that society’s resource-rich women will have fewer children in the future. Another important cause of falling fertility is that increas- ingly northern European women wait until they are 30 or 35 years old before giving birth, which is not good for reproduction, since fertility falls dramatically after age 35. As a result, women cannot manage to have more than one or two children. In 1964, the aver- age age of a woman giving birth the first time was 22.7 years; in 2004, it was 28.3 years for all women, and 32 for women with long higher educations. That trend will reverse at some point, because there are some who want several children and they will surely share that experience with the next generation. In the year 2027, there will certainly be more children and more younger mothers, but the shift will not be immediate. At the same time, women’s greater effort in the labor force is also an important cause. The good and “right” life, with self realization, quality, vacations, own home and consumption often requires two full-time incomes. When both mother and father must also have time and extra energy to be on the labor market, there are fewer resources for family, children and reproduction. In today’s Europe, having children demands resources. Children need attention, they must be stimulated, and they must be cared for. Not least, they are also consumers who must be supplied with brand-name clothes, toys, vacations, experiences and modern technology – all of which costs money. It is expensive to have children in the year 2017 – financially and temporally. At the same time, few countries in Europe offer timely child care to parents in the labor force, which leads many to choose not to have children: they simply cannot get them taken care of. An extension of youth can also be seen as a cause of falling fertility. More and more young people prefer to live with no other obligations than themselves. People are often over 30 years old before they are ready to establish a family and assume the many respon- sibilities that come with it – without regard for time and age.20
  21. 21. Box 7 Fertility Falls dramatically - a fertility quota of 2.1 children per woman is required to maintain population. - In the eu, in 2005, the fertility quota is 1.5 children per woman. - In denmark, the fertility quota in 2005 was 1. children per woman, a rate that has been fairly steady the last couple of years. - Ireland and Iceland were the most “fertile” eu countries, with 2.0 children per woman (2004). - In greece, the fertility quota was 1.3 in 2004. - In Italy, poland and Slovenia, the fertility quota was 1.2 children per woman, the lowest in europe. - In Russia, the fertility quota fell from 2.3 children per woman in 10 to 1.3 children per woman in 2005. - In Japan, the quota was 1.25 in 2005. - In germany, about 30% of university educated women remain childless. - In Italy, 33% of women are still childless at age 40. (Source: Newsweek September 4, 2006 Eurostat) Box 8 puBlic spending in child care2,5% 2%1,5% 1%0,5% 0% SWe 2002 nLd 2001 aut 2002 pRt 2001 fIn 2002 IRL 2002 dK 2001 uK 2003 public investment in childcare services as % gdp in some eu Member States. Source: OECD, Babies and Bosses, Volumes 1-4, 2002-2005 (Website: 21
  22. 22. lack of household skills ”What is fundamental for the postmodern family is that it outsources important functions to society: work, production of vital items, care giving and socialization of children and care for the elderly and weak. So this family form depends on the support of the surrounding society. It is a public family.” (Source: Børn og familie i det postmoderne samfund, Editor. Lars Dencik. Hans Reitzels forlag, Copenhagen 1999) the family needs help The modern family needs help for two good reasons. First, the modern family has little knowledge of life’s most basic skills. Fewer and fewer young people know how to make food, clean house, wash clothes, arrange parties, raise children, keep a garden, keep the books balanced or make a contribution to society. The young people of today (the major- ity and those under 40) have simply not learned these basic skills in their childhood. The younger generations of today have primarily had parents working outside the home. Parents who have been too busy to share housework with their children. Parents who often have skipped a great deal of it, or found other solutions such as ready-made meals, cleaning help and childcare services. At the same time, many parents chose to free their children from housework, and so, today, it is common not to learn how to chop onions, twist a mop or paint windows at home. Another important reason the family of today needs help in so many ways is that its ambition level is higher than it was in the past. The knowledge society constantly pumps out new numbers and new conclusions, to which we naturally enough try to adjust ourselves to avoid mistakes. Most families of today want to do the best they can, prefer- ably better than their own parents. They need help to do the things they can’t figure out or that they want to do even better. That is perfection, that is the ideal or, at any rate, as close as one can come. The ideal of perfection is a utopia, but that does not mean it can’t be strived for, and many need help in striving for it. Child raising could be the classic ex- ample of how the modern family wants more help. In the old days, for most people, child raising wasn’t up for discussion or reflection. Children were just there. “Children should be seen and not heard” was the watchword. Moreover, they were a good and necessary labor force, and so the best gift you could give your child was to teach them “Idle hands are the devil’s work.” Today, child raising is a big, controversial subject that is always up for discussion and that people can easily disagree about: a subject to be approached care- fully for fear of offending someone. The opinions about correct child raising are count- less. Even professionals squabble about which pedagogical direction is best. So people no longer raise children with the same methods, and so children often experience an opaque world, since they get very different guidelines and recommendations from parents, teach- ers, friends and other adults. Many young parents are lost: How do you do it? Which22
  23. 23. method should we use? Whom can we trust? Maybe mother-in-law recommends giving acrying baby a bottle, but what if the midwife says otherwise, and what if a friend says tonurse the baby no matter what? Whom can we trust? The same problem applies to manyof the family’s other functions, and so we seek help. Of course, many families get throughthe day with shining colors and, at the same time, can enjoy the many benefits of modernsociety. When the family of the future needs help, we should distinguish between practicalhelp and mental help – but both are needed. The family needs practical help becausepeople lack skills, but also because they lack time, or want to free up time for other things.Mental help is something different: it is about being a person and being a family. Howcan we create meaning in our existence, how do we act with other people, how can we,as an individualist, be a part of the community, and how can we best get our families tofunction when we are two individualistic adults who have many other things to accom-plish? How do live up to the great and often indefinable expectations that hang in the airthat we apparently can only aspire to. We so much want to be happy, but who knows ifwe can even hope to be? It’s nothing new that families need help; most families, in principle, have alwaysneeded it. But what is new is that the need for help is recognized, and is one that the pub-lic sector is trying to cover. But help isn’t free, and therefore it is no coincidence that theneed for help is increasing today. In a time of economic growth and rising affluence, thereis money for both more problems and more help. 23
  24. 24. greater economic freedom Families can afford more. In fact, the average Danish family grew 28.8% richer, in real terms, from 1993-2003.3 So it is not a lack of money that is the biggest problem in today’s families but a lack of time, which is of course related to the fact that much time is spent making money. That the families of today and tomorrow have more money presents advan- tages and disadvantages. It is good because the family, to a greater degree, is able to realize their dream and secure more well-being and security. Bad because the good economy can make people more independent of the family, empty the family of functions, cause stress and strain in the family, which often wants to do everything in half the time When people were poor, they were often financially tied to their families. There was really no place to go if you were dissatisfied, no matter how unfair the conditions. Fortu- nately, it is not like that today, when very few would dare say to the husband they love “if he doesn’t like things around here, he can find someplace else”, because the chances are that he will pack up and go. Men and women are used to taking care of themselves financially and practically. Many have lived alone for years before creating a couple, so it isn’t money and practical matters that bring people together. More often, it is feelings and mental dependence. Of course, money, despite greater affluence, does still play a role in modern family life. We are not so rich that we can be careless about finances. For example, many studies show that mean that make a good income are far more likely to be married and have children. Likewise, men who face unemployment, a loss of status and who are, therefore, are less financially attractive, are more likely to divorce. At the same time, poor finances and the discussion about the allocation of the family’s financial resources are often named as a cause of disagreement, debate and, ultimately, divorce. what the family uses money on The greater affluence in today’s families can be invested in many ways. Recent years show that the home and pension take more of the excess, but consumer goods also empty the wal- let. Flat-screen televisions, cars, brand-name handbags, whirlpools, new kitchens, anti-aging creams, microbrew, summer houses and smart clothes for Dad are just some of the consum- er goods that families prioritize. But it’s well known that “stuff doesn’t make you happier,” so there will not be more things that stretch the family’s budget in the next decade. Instead, demand will rise for experiences, vacations, service and peace and quiet. The modern person collects experiences – ideally, as many as possible. Experiences the family can share, talk about and remember as a group. Group experiences provide group references, and thereby dependence and fellowship. 3 Danmarks statistik 2005.24
  25. 25. Box 9 growth in Family income150 beL geR140 fRa130 IRL120 Ita uK110100 0 15 16 17 1 1 2000 200115=100. development in real income, family with two adults and two children, selected eu countries.Source: European Community Household PanelBox 10 consumption By product group200 food Clothing175 furniture household services Leisure goods, entertainment and travel.150125100 75 10 11 12 13 14 15 15 16 17 1 1 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 200610=100. Increased real income prompts increased real consumption, especially of leisure, clothing andhome-related items and services.Source: Danmarks Statistik 25
  26. 26. Prioritization of resources Financial freedom, more social openness, more and more solutions, possibilities and paths to take, together not least with greater needs and demands on the modern family life, can be defined as affluence and welfare. But affluence and welfare create a new scarcity that hits all of us hard, especially families. Families need time. Time is in short supply. Stress is almost epidemic. Once we had lots of time. Today, we have as much time as back then, in fact we have more time, since most of us live longer. But many people, especially the younger generations and especially families with children, experience the lack of time as alarming and problematic. Some believe the lack of time is about working more, but that’s not true. In fact, we have never worked so little as we do to today, if we look at how many hours we used to spend on the job (that calculation obviously looks different if we com- pare it to the time when women were not in the labor force). Figures from Statistics Den- mark and the Danish National Institute of Social Research show that an average working woman with children worked 5.45 hours per day in 2001-2003, while men with children worked 7 hours per day. However, the same statistics also show that the share of hours worked is highest for mothers with small children.4 It should be pointed out that there are great social differences between how much individuals work and large differences by in- dustry. The trend points toward women with long educations working significantly more than women with shorter educations. The same applies to men, who work most. Manag- ers and people with responsibility work most, which is one reason men work more. time The lack of time is the result of our wanting to spend our time on many things. Time is like money. Money is the key to most things that we want. Money is necessary for con- sumption: house, care, experiences, vacations, service, view of the sea and more time. Lei- sure requires money. The lack of time offers, however, a degree of status. If we have lots of time and trouble passing it, we are poor. “Intelligent people are never bored” and if you are so fortunate to win $3 million in the lottery, you will hardly use the winnings on more time or time to do nothing. Time is, in fact, a scarce good only when you have something useful to use time on, and therefore have time left over. If we speak of the lack of time in the modern world, it is important to distinguish between real time and what we can call mental time (brain activity). Because it is often mental time that makes us stressed. We become stressed by all the things we must make a decision about. We simply can’t hold more in our heads. Sure, it may take only 30 minutes to prepare a good meal, tonight, but preparing the meal requires much reflec- tion and many choices. What ingredients do we need? Which market is cheapest? Where 4 Hvad kvinder og mænd bruger tiden til, Socialforskningsinstituttet 2003.26
  27. 27. Box 11LaboR foRCe- In europe (eu-25) in 2004, the male workforce encompassed 70.% of men aged 15-64.- In europe (eu-25) in 2004, the female workforce encompassed 55.7% of women aged 15-64.- for persons 25-54, 3.6% were in the workforce.- Iceland, Switzerland and denmark are the european countries with the greatest proportion of workers. In den- mark, 7.7% of men aged 15-64 are in the workforce, and 71.6% of the women. .2% of the population aged 25-54 is in the workforce.- In Spain, 73.% of men and 4.3 of women aged 15-64 are in the workforce; in the uS, the figures are 77.2% (men) and 65.4% (women). (Source: Eurostat Statistical Pocketbook 2006, Eurostat. Eurostat defines work- ers as persons who in the previous week completed more than one hour of profitable labor. The figures are from 2004.)WoRKIng tIMe- In europe (eu-25), people in the workforce spend an average of 41. hours on the job. this includes overtime but not lunch breaks. (Source: Eurostat Statistical Pocketbook 2006), Eurostat. Eurostat defines workers as persons who in the previous week completed more than one hour of profitable labor. The figures are from 2004.)- norwegians have the shortest workweek in europe, with an average of 3.4 hours on the job. Icelanders, with 47.1 hours, work the most. In denmark, a normal workweek for a fulltime worker is 40.4 hours. (Source: Eurostat Statistical Pocketbook 2006)- the norwegians, with 1363 hours per year, and the dutch, with 1357 hours per year, work the least in europe. a Korean, in contrast, puts in 2423 hours on the job.tIMe aLLoCatIon In faMILIeS:- In two out of three danish families, both partners have the same labor market status, and in over half, the family consists of two parents working full time or more. however, 3% of mothers work less than full time, and 10% work more than full time. 2% of fathers work more than full time, and only 5.1% of fathers work less than full time. (Source: Teknologirådet´s rapport, Balance mellem familie og arbejdsliv, 2005 Hvad kvinder og mænd bruger tiden til, SFI 2003).- danish women use relatively little time on housekeeping in comparison to other european women. danish women with small children (aged 0-7) use 4 hours and 3 minutes a day, while the same group of norwegian women use 5:14, dutch women 5:31, and french women 4:44.- danish and and norwegian fathers af small children use relatively much time on housekeeping compared with other european men. danish fathers use 3 hours, 1 minutes a day, and norwegians use 3:10. In contast, dutch fathers use 2:14 and french fathers use 2:22.- generally, european women use more time on housework than men. but it varies by country. In Sweden, women use less than 50% more time on housework than men, while in Italy and Spain, women use more than 200% more time on housework than men. (Source: Statistics in focus nr 4/2006, Eurostat). (Source: Statistics in focus nr 4/2006, Eurostat)MateRnIty/pateRnIty Leave- danish parents may take 52 weeks maternity/paternity leave with maternity/paternity income from the state. 1 weeks accrue to the mother, two to the father, and the other 32 can be divided as the parents see fit. (Source: Statistisk årbog 2006)- In 2004, new danish parents took an average of 20 days of paternity/maternity leave – though it is still the mother who takes the most. on average, fathers took just 1 days paternity leave. (Source: Statistics årbog 2006)- Where the parents took short maternity/paternity leaves, the father took most of it. for parents where the aver- age combined leave was 6 days, fathers took 45 days. It is this group of fathers who take the longest leave. (Source: Statistics årbog 2006) 27
  28. 28. can I park? What does my wife like and dislike – and what about the children? Which milk should I choose – there are 17 possibilities – organic or not? How many calories is this? Do I want to stand in line? How many will be at the table tonight? The questions flood our mind. The stress and strain of modern life comes not only from there not being enough hours in the day to do everything one wants, but from the many choices and deci- sions and increased complexity. a question of resource The lack of time is to some degree related to the lack of money, which can also be trans- lated as resources and surplus. The modern family often is thought to lack it all. Naturally, there are large social differences. In some families, the lack of time is greater than the lack of money; in other families, it’s the opposite. But, in short, in a time of many opportuni- ties and more demands more, the division of resources in the family is one of the family’s great areas of conflict. If the family wants their dream house close to town, job, friends and cultural offerings, it needs two full-time incomes. If Mom and Dad at the same time want their dream job, with the best career opportunities, it may require many hours of commuting or work at home or late evening meetings. If we want to give our children the best childhood, with time together, adjustment to many institution hours, reading aloud and homemade pancakes, it requires a lot of time. So does daily exercise, keeping up with the news, maintaining the house house, friends and the rest of the family. Just as the daily grind does: shopping, lines at the market, cleaning, delayed trains, doctor’s visits, paying bills and every other daily chore. These are, of course, tasks you can buy your way out of, but how can you afford it if you are already working full time to get the “right” house – and, if you could afford it, who’s to say you would choose cleaning help or a cook instead of two weeks in Thailand or the new care you’ve been eyeing? And even if you could afford it, is it at all wise to outsource such central tasks away from the fam- ily? Cooking, cleaning and the herb garden are good and healthy activities to share. Good excuses for coming together, talking and understanding and, not least, you burn calories while you wipe, polish, clip, mow and plant. The family of today needs exercise, but is, as the rising average weight indicates, poor at prioritizing exercise, just as it is poor at prioritizing time.2
  29. 29. ConclusionChanges in the modern family life are obvious, and the changes we have discussed arejust some of the largest and most significant changes that families are seeing these years,but they are the ones we found most interesting. Other changes are also relevant, butthere’s only so much room in this report. The big questions are how will these changes affect the family live of the future, whatchanges will follow, and how will the changes affect the daily life of families in the year2017? The rest of the report is an attempt to answer these questions. We offer six sce-narios that each describes a possible development within a given area.- Family homes in 2017- The technologized family- Global and mobile families- Family and work life toward 2017- Consumer families in a consumer society- Family rituals toward 2017 2
  30. 30. Fa milythe
  31. 31. in 2017: six Peeks into the Future
  32. 32. Family homes in 2017Many families will want more space in their homes in the year 2017 - space for all of theirconsumer goods, new technology, their creative activities, plus space for a love of the kitch-en, personal realization and even to show that they can afford it. The home of the futuremust have enough square meters so dreams can be realized. Many people will be more mo-bile and will thus need more than one home. Even the home will become more mobile. Thetraditional split of rooms will be replaced by mobile modules so that the home can be usedfor many purposes. Rooms with movable walls and flexible boundaries will make the homemore multi-functional. Most people prefer fewer larger rooms than many small rooms. Bigrooms give an enhanced experience of space and light. An increased need for storage willalso result in new types of rooms specifically made for storage. Compartments in floors andwalls exclusively used for storage will become more popular precisely like all homes in theyear 2017 will have reboot rooms (technical rooms). There will, however, be a big difference in the extent to which families are capable ofrealizing their home dreams. Increased polarization will most likely occur in terms of peo-ple’s financial possibilities, especially in terms of the real estate market. The rich will mostprobably become richer. The poor will most likely not become poorer, but not richer tothe same extent. If you take high real estate prices into consideration, it means that manypeople will never be able to enter the housing market, especially not if they want to live inattractive towns and areas. But those who can afford it – the richest half of the population– will probably have larger and nicer homes and also more than one home. Others mustsettle with the one home they can afford, which is often a far cry from their dream home.Furthermore, position will play an even greater role. If you want to live centrally thenyou must compromise on other things, such as the size of the home, the layout and theaddress. You may even have to choose what types of dream rooms you prefer and whichrooms you must do without - the relaxation room, open kitchen, home cinema or office?the home for the creative familyIn 2017, the home must provide optimum conditions for creativity, playing and learn-ing. All family members will be occupied with different activities, from playing piano tomaking cheese, brewing beer and designing clothes, to painting, backyard golf and fitness.Some of this will go so well that there will even be the possibility of running a little busi-ness centered on this activity. This is not because it is necessary to have a supplementaryincome but because we are reassured by the recognition and status that comes with know-ing that others are willing to pay for our creations or what we offer. Health is prioritized highly in the year 2017, also in terms of homes. Residential areasand interior designs must therefore have a positive effect on health. Both the residential areaand even the home must stimulate – or actually force the residents to do more exercise. Eve-rything must no longer be as convenient as possible. Possibilities must be built in for gamesboth for children and for adults. It must be attractive to be out in the open. Green atriums,balconies, wide courtyards, fountains and green recreational areas close to the home must 33
  33. 33. be inviting. Playgrounds, trampolines and climbing walls are the basics. The bathroom is not just a room for hygienic purposes; it is a well-being room, or body care room with fitness equip- ment and diverse electronic equipment for monitoring potential or already acquired lifestyle related illnesses and chronic illnesses. Not to mention the massage table, the sauna and the cold water pool. And in the home, there is not only focus on physical health, but also on mental health. The home must be a refuge or an oasis where we can relax from the stress and hustle of the outside world and recuperate. There must be the possibility to create zones, where with the help of sound, light, pictures and interior design you can create areas with special moods for the senses, for stress removal, yoga and recuperating. There must also be fresh air all day long. home branding Up to the year 2017, there will be more so-called lifestyle homes and lifestyle residential areas. Mod- ern people will admittedly be more individual, but maybe that’s exactly why to an increasing extent they wish to live together with someone – preferably someone that resembles them. Therefore, many housing complexes, housing estates or country towns have started to market themselves on the Internet. Via branding of the residential areas you achieve great cohesion and demonstrate to the outside world and to yourself exactly who you are and who you aren’t. In this way, you also tell who you would like as neighbors in the future. You tell what values you think are important and which activities occur in the area. In this way, you hope to attract the “right” new neighbors and, in addition, put a certain amount of pressure on those who do not have this desired lifestyle. Branding the residential area is not however completely unproblematic and the process will often result in big fights. Some people will end up moving or boycotting the idea, but this often results in a benefit for all anyway. Some housing profiles have become more spacious than others. It is usually professional companies who handle branding, and it will most probably turn out to be a very good business, because branded areas will quickly become more attractive, people will feel more solidarity and therefore more people will invest more energy into neighborliness and to stay living there for a longer time, which will result in higher housing prices. Part of the brand- ing will also be about building some community around a common intranet. This functions as a technological platform for different types of networks, among, for example families, with children, football players, the elderly, singles, old ladies or people with dogs. In many places, it will prob- ably develop into proper neighborhood communities. In all housing estates, also those that are not branded, the net and local virtual communities will become a central tool for arranging everyday activities and services. Networks for families with children will appear – within which everything from games, to help with homework and escorting children to and from school by bicycle and by foot will be arranged. Elderly networks where a lot of common things are arranged will also appear. In addition, there will be more professional suppliers of goods and services for the home, plus co-ordinated offers for networks and sponsored offers. The net will, funnily enough, be the tool which in many ways brings cohesion back to the residential areas. many families have several homes Many families will have more than one home in the year 2017. Modern summer houses are of such high quality that you can live in them all year round. Added to that, many families will decide to combine a relatively small city apartment with a second residence in the country. If one person works in the metropolitan area, it’s convenient to have an apartment in the city that can be used by the whole family as a holiday residence on the weekends. Especially those people who come from the country will enjoy having a city apartment where they are close to34
  34. 34. cultural events and can easily visit children and old friends in the big city. Cheap transporthas made it easy to be mobile and have more residences.hotel apartmentsMore families will move to hotels or a serviced hotel apartment. This means cleaning and laundryservices are provided and meals can be delivered to the apartment. There is possibly also accessto the hotel’s fitness club, plus child-minding facilities. For the rich, we are talking about “five-starliving”, but other people can also enjoy something similar to this, though at a more modest level.Several hotels provide housing for expatriate employees. Busy singles and career families are alsoto an increasing extent using hotel apartments instead of normal independent apartments.the compact family home in the cityCity homes will most likely continue to increase in price and the square meter price in the year2017 will in many places in the metropolitan area increase to DKK 80,000, or the equivalentof DKK 8 million for 100 m2 housing in the city. Very few families with children can affordthis and those that can must make the most out of few square meters. People who chooseanyway to live centrally in the major city will however use it more actively. Singles and smallfamilies opt out of the open kitchen and buy take away or go out to eat. All office work is doneat people’s work. Dad often goes to the club, Mom goes to the café and the son to the internetcafé. For those who have no choice, the laundromat is revived and equipped with a café andinternet. The rich drop their dirty and crumpled clothes off to come back two days later to pickthem up clean and ironed. Even the home is often designed like a plane or a ship, where thereis limited space and the design must as far as possible be multi-functional.more double-family homes in the capitalSingle-family homes near the capital will become so expensive that normal families with childrenwill not be able to afford them. It is especially the basic price that will escalate. This will makeauthorities increase the permitted building percentage limits on housing lots. Many single familyhomes will therefore be rebuilt to double family homes. In some places, two families will move in.In other places the aged will build granny flats next to the house and leave the rest for the childrenand grandchildren, some even in the form of a several generation flat sharing concept. Other agedpeople will, on the other hand, prefer that people like them also move in to the neighboring house.Fleeing from the suburbsFamilies with children are no longer what they used to be. Mainly there are fewer of them. Outsidethe main city areas, there will therefore be a surplus of family homes in 2017. There aren’t enoughfamilies with children to take over the many single family homes in the country areas. Espe-cially now, when the big generations from the 40’s – those who moved into the big single familyhomes at the end of the 60’s and the beginning of the 70’s - want to move to something smaller.The prices of single family homes will drastically fall in all other places than the big cities and anumber of the elderly and people without economic capacity will be trapped in their homes in theoutskirts because they can’t afford anything else. City homes will therefore continue to becomemore expensive. So will homes out in the country, where they are located in beautiful areas, closeto forests and beaches or other valued amenities. Ocean views are popular and land with oceanviews are often at the same price level as in the metropolitan area. The country, close to the cityand infrastructure is the most attractive. 35
  35. 35. the technologized familyIn 2017, our everyday life, family life, love life and work life, communication and rela-tions will largely be dependant on technological aids. Yes, even the cohesion of the, bynow, atomized family will be facilitated by technology in the year 2017. On the one hand, everyday life in families in 2017 will be characterized by everyfamily member having a daily life within their own social arena, with their own socialnetworks, giving them different experiences. On the other hand, each family member willlargely be integrated in the family, as due to technology we have a great insight into eachother’s lives. Thus the family will have a lot in common, even though at first glance it mayfrom the outside appear to be driven daily lifeIn 2017, there will be a lot of technology in many things. Every home will be loaded withbuilt-in computers and wireless everything, which combined will organize family, workand everyday life. However, it is not technology for the sake of technology. Technologymust have a meaning and there are many products that come to nothing because an over-enthusiastic engineer is carried away. Technology must be useful and preferably almostinvisible in adults’ rooms, bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms. Generally, there has been resistance against too much technical equipment in thehome, especially in the bedroom. But towards 2017, big developments will most likelyoccur in precisely this area. Sleep will be an oft-discussed theme up to 2017 because of thedebate about stress, not least because, as time goes by, technology can gradually provideequipment that can improve sleep. The bedroom in 2017 will therefore generally befitted out with the latest equipment to help families have a good, relaxing and effectivesleep. The new equipment tells us, for example, when it is strategically wise to go to bedeach day. It will adjust the temperature in the bedroom and constantly ensure that thereis fresh air, which is good for our health. Many people will also have a relaxation agentinstalled, which will affect the senses in a way that we quickly fall asleep and sleep moreeffectively. Sleep technology will be one of the big selling successes in the future. Towards the year 2017, one of the big home design trends will be a Reboot room.Almost all of the home’s technology will be controlled and coordinated in complex inte-grated systems from the Reboot room. It is the system in the Reboot room that ensuresthat all the family’s technology works as it should. All communication between mum, dad,child, mobile phone, bacteria level measurer, vacuum cleaner, garbage and calorie intakerecorder will be controlled from here. Modern technology-based products and systemshelp us to remember things we would otherwise forget. During the next 10 years, theamount of practical technology, which we can’t live without, will dramatically increase. Ofcourse, we could live without it but we would be out of touch with the times. Technology 37
  36. 36. is a must. New technological solutions and systems help us keep a grip on our lives by creating a connection between the different knowledge systems. For example, the bed will be able to tell us about family members’ health status and if there are problems, another computer program can simultaneously come up with different suggestions for solutions. Food solutions, diets and various recommendations will appear on the screen and if neces- sary the system can coordinate shopping and ensure that food or medicine is delivered to the front door in the desired form, quality and price. Therefore, in the future we will be even more dependent on technology. And as time goes by it will be increasingly difficult to imagine a world without it. technology oriented children and adolescents Even though technology in many homes and products will become almost invisible, the games room will be a contrast to this. In the games room you will see an inferno of intel- ligent and creative robots, fun and challenging games, plus dolls that can talk themselves. Computers and games will be connected in big interactive and integrated systems and can be often linked up to a family’s other networks and systems. Technological toys in the year 2017 are an essential medium to teach children to master the adults’ world of technology, and therefore games serve a good purpose. It is only our fantasy that sets the limit for which technological toys we will see in children’s rooms in the year 2017. Toys of the future are not just toys. They have to be well developed and challenging. Toys of the future are super intelligent and they constantly challenge the child’s games and creativity, according of course to the level the child is at. Digital cameras and computers will also appear in children’s rooms, especially in teenag- ers’ rooms. These cameras will directly stream the adolescent’s sounds, pictures and sensory recordings onto the Internet, their own platform or to the communities they are active in. Today there is no limit to what adolescents want to share with their friends or strangers on the net and many constantly stream live recordings of their lives on the net. This tendency will not diminish in the future. It will be a completely new form of reality shows. However, not everyone will want to expose their life to the whole world and many adolescents will only give PSN access to their pictures, recordings, scrapbook, music and texts etc. do you have a Psn? (Private social network) The Internet and new communication possibilities will make it even easier to establish and maintain our social contacts and relationships. It is not abnormal that adults will have a minimum of a few hundred contacts in their PSN. Experts estimate that adolescents of the future will have more than 1,000 contacts in their PSN by the time they reach 18 years of age. This will be people they have met on trips, on the net, at gaming events or just from the neighborhood. Most will however be critical with invitations to their PSN as not all people are equally welcome. In 2017, the majority will only want people in their PSN if they know them, or they are important for them or if they have a common point of inter- est with the person. This is in contrast to, for example, MySpace, where you can decide to be in a network with anybody. technology changes our methods of communication Use of the internet is constantly developing and already now in the year 2006 we are seeing how the internet is changing from being a tool to send mail from, search informa-3
  37. 37. tion on or play online games on, to being an integrated platform for socialization. Wecan quite rightly call it a social network revolution. “The social network revolution” is arevolution that will seriously change our social life, in particular the organization of it. In2017, most people will be constantly connected to a well-organized technological world– always online.mobilizeTechnological communication does not necessarily happen by talking or writing together.Communication on the net is much more widespread. For example, with the help of ourmobilizer we can send messages to our social network about where we are and that wewould like to meet here or there. We can localize friends and acquaintances in the area orjust know where our children, husband/wife or grandparents are – just like all the otherscan too. The new technological possibilities have for example made it possible to quicklymeet in very large groups. This has great advantages but also disadvantages. It is notnecessarily always appropriate to be called to a mass demonstration or trouble making ina matter of 20 seconds. But, in general, new technology will mean that it will be easier foreveryone to organize their social life and many people will enjoy the spontaneity it willresult in.surveillance and increased freedomNew communication and interactive possibilities will be a big challenge for manyfamilies. In particular the field of tension between control / surveillance and freedom/ independence will be on the family agenda. On the one hand, parents have the pos-sibility to know practically everything about their children, because in the year 2017it will be normal that they set their child’s mobilizers to always see where they are,check who they are with and see what they are doing. And surveillance does not stopthere. Via technology in the bathroom for example it will be possible in the future tocheck their child’s urine for traces of misuse or behavioral problems like for exampledrugs, alcohol or anorexia. Misuse or behavioral problems is something that manyparents fear and which can at times be difficult to diagnose. This new form of surveil-lance is naturally not only positive, but many parents will despite the problematicnature still use it anyway as it gives them a sense of security. On the one hand, it willbe easier for parents of the future to keep an eye on their children, while on the otherhand it will be more difficult. Too much of the adolescents’ lives and togethernesshappens in a virtual universe where the parents do not have access – or don’t accessit very often. The long and intense amount of time spent by children and adolescentsin cyberspace can actually happen without much well-meaning adult surveillanceor interest. This gives free range for non-well-meaning adults to access children andadolescents in cyberspace. In the future, most children and adolescents will most likely spend most of their timeon the net. It is on the net - largely - that their social life, both the physical and virtual ex-ists and is organized, created and maintained. It is on the net that they meet with friends,confide in others, and discuss everyday problems. This orientation with peers of the sameage, which mainly occurs in virtual space, will greatly challenge authorities. Adults inthe future must therefore also be prepared to meet adolescents online if they want to beexposed to them. 3
  38. 38. new social rules However, the possibilities for rapid, constant and mobile communication have their dis- advantages. Today and up to 2017, the demands for daily communication and an “online presence” always will become greater. In the future a form of “instant messaging” system will be used. Most people are online most of the time. In the year 2017, software and web application developers will therefore merge with mobile phone companies and computer producers to create the ultimate framework for modern man’s interactive needs. In the year 2017 the mobile phone, computer, refrigera- tor, car and all other technology in and outside the home will therefore communicate together without great difficulty. The mobile phone will probably also have changed its name to the mobilizer because the mobilizer is much more than a phone. The mobilizer will be our mobile communication and interaction platform – and with it we will be directly linked to the web, our social network and thereby also to our family and friends. In the year 2017, most people will be even more connected even though they don’t neces- sarily communicate together. Just being online and seeing where others are and receiv- ing a headline about what they are doing gives us a sense of community and connection. Particularly contact to close friends and family will be improved and new communication platforms will almost certainly improve this contact. For through a system like MyPlace (our room/home on the web) we will have the possibility to share experiences, grief and happiness – music, pictures, texts and not least thoughts.40