TASA 2016 postgraduate scholarship winner

Yangtao Huang, Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland: I am a PhD candidate in quantitative sociology at Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland. My research interests involve intergenerational transmission of socio-economic statuses, gender inequality, social networks and subjective wellbeing in Australia.

It was my great honour and privilege to be one of the recipients of the respected TASA Postgraduate Conference Scholarships. This award was an important recognition of my PhD work in the area of sociology of the family. It marked a significant milestone in my PhD candidature, and inspired me to further my research endeavours to gain a better understanding of the complex social and economic decisions Australian families make in their daily lives. Importantly, this award also enabled me to attend this national conference without too much financial stress, and provided a unique opportunity for me to network with leading sociologists and fellow PhD candidates in sociology across Australia.

The paper I presented at the conference examined the within-couple financial organisation that accompanied couples’ transitions towards marriage and parenthood. Studying the transitions of household finance associated with major life events of couples provides a unique lens into understanding couples’ financial behaviours, financial mentalities, and perceptions of their relationship at the turning points of their family life. Key findings show a great shift from financial separateness to jointness as couples transit to marriage and parenthood, and a strong time effect of marriage and parenthood transitions on couples’ financial organisation. A noticeable increase in the predicted probability of joint household finance is observed at the time of the event occurrences. Overall, the findings showcase that within-couple financial organisation leans towards togetherness in company with transitions towards marriage and parenthood.

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