Family in all its aspects Familienbande International experts provide an overview of the current state-of-the-art of European family research and outline the multiple formations, structures and configurations of family in Europe. Four aspects are discussed in depth: family images, sex/gender roles, globalisation and family development processes. Influenced by globalisation, European countries experience processes which still have greatly varying consequences. Cultural differences, reflected in a range of family schemes and national family policies, are one reason for the continued existence of differences in the scope and speed of change processes. Quite generally, images and concepts of family have become more heterogeneous and flexible. The flip side of this coin is that family members are increasingly faced with the challenges of achieving a satisfactory work-life balance – a task aggravated by globalisation. We therefore need to ask how family policy can help families enjoy adequate freedom of action and latitude for their decision-making. To summarise: a read well worth the effort for all experts working in family research and family policy.