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Session Overview
RN13_03b_P: Family Planning and Fertility III
Wednesday, 30/Aug/2017:
6:00pm - 7:30pm

Session Chair: Christian Deindl, University of Cologne
Session Chair: Katarzyna Dębska, Warsaw University
Location: PD.2.33
PANTEION University of Social & Political Sciences 136 Syggrou Avenue 17671 Athens, Greece Building: D, Level: 2.

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Do family policies have a natalist impact and how this can be measured? An analysis of GGS-data

Beat Fux

University of Salzburg, Austria

Measuring the pronatalist impact of family policies is difficult. Experts argue that family policies might cause an increase of fertility by at most 5-10%. Based on Generations and Gender Survey data (GGS), this thesis will be examined. We apply piecewise constant exponential models which allow to measure the distinct normative and structural covariates of first motherhood separately for early mothers, norm followers and late mothers. Preliminary survival analyses show that particularly within the lower classes it is self-evident and unquestioned to get a child rather early. Therefore the assumed policy impact is small. By contrast, high skilled couples who outbalance their multiple interests are characterized by frequent ambivalences in their reproductive intentions and they frequently postpone procreation. This makes them more responsive to family policy incentives.

Research design: In a first step, couples with uncertain and ambivalent reproductive intentions will be selected. GGS allows to determine these group rather precisely (e.g. biologically able to procreate, living in a partnership). In a second step, we control for major factors that might hamper the conversion of intentions into behavior (e.g. unstable partnership, health, work and income). In a third step, the policy evaluations among the distinct target groups will be discussed. The data allow analyzing whether policies motivate couples either to reconsider their intentions or to modify the timing of planned behaviors.

The research design distinguishes between age-specific reproductive norms which are closely related to social status and by focusing on couples with ambivalent reproductive intentions. This might contribute to further elaborate the theory of planned behavior. The paper is providing an approach to quantify the impact of family policies.

Where do Large Families Come From? Determinants of Large Families’ formation in Russian cities

Ivan Pavlyutkin1, Mariia Goleva2

1NRU Higher School of Economics, Russian Federation; 2Saint-Tikhon’s Orthodox Humanitarian University, Russian Federation

Today, large family (family with three or more children) is not only an empirical but also a theoretical exception. It means that it is hard to find an adequate social theory (or a middle-range theory) which could explain - where do large families come from in a contemporary rationalized risk or post-materialist society? This paper is aimed at reflecting on this question and providing answers relying on the results of qualitative research.

The research is based on the analysis of 53 in-depth interviews taken from Russian parents living in urban large families in Moscow, Arkhangelsk, Vladimir (2015-2016). Interviews were analyzed according to the Grounded theory methodology and techniques of coding (open and axial) (Glaser, Strauss 1967; Glazer 1978).

As the result of the research, we identified several types of pathways to large families, which vary by meanings of three categories: value of childbirth; parental responsibility; family loyalty and adherence to chosen life course. These types also differ in parental religiosity and the degree of family embeddedness in weak and strong social ties. We show, that the transition to life in large family is hard to realize being socially independent from the community. Family embeddedness in social relations with others facilitates transition through such mechanisms as social contagion, social learning and social support in gift-giving circles. In conclusions, we provide a critical discussion on the dominant theories of fertility decline.

Large Families in Europe: What are the mechanisms behind the birth of a 3rd+ child in nine European countries?

Ralina Panova1, Isabella Buber-Ennser2


The decline of fertility in the course of the Second Demographic Transition is mainly attributed to the increase in childlessness and the decline of large families (three or more births). Based on the 1st and 2nd wave of the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) data, this paper provides longitudinal comparative analysis of higher order fertility transitions and individual attitudes towards children and social norms in nine European countries - France, Western Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Lithuania and Russia. The purpose of this study is to identify the driving mechanisms behind the birth of a 3rd+ child and explain how they differ in the above mentioned countries. Our aim is to find out which the universal and country specific determinants of the birth of 3rd or more children are by focusing on sociocultural factors. We consider 10,813 men and women between 18 and 45 years who have at least two children. The dependent variable is the birth of a 3rd+ child between two survey waves. The main explaining variables are the anticipated costs and utilities of children as well as social norms. The multivariate analysis is carried out using logistic regression. In addition to the gender specific models with the country variable as proxy for the societal context, analyses are carried out separately for each country. The study provides new insights into the link between sociocultural factors and formation of large family. It reveals cross-national differences in the relationship between attitudes and norms and higher order fertility transitions.

New Marital Strategies in Metropolitan Cities of Turkey

Aylin Akpinar

Marmara University, Turkey

Traditionally, male breadwinner ideology has been dominant in Turkey. In 1980s families in metropolitan cities were captured into neoliberal economic change. New marital strategies, such as searching for gainfully employed women by men who want to climb up the social ladder was an instance of this change. This presentation is based on the narratives of four middle class, university educated, gainfully employed women and draws in part from data of a larger study on marital lives & divorces of women of different ages and social classes who lived in three metropolitan cities of Turkey, namely, Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. The research aimed to understand the reasons for women’s divorces. The data was generated through in-depth interviews with 43 divorcées from September 2014 to February 2015. The data partly revealed how some men married middle-class women with stable incomes to fulfill their dreams of upward mobility and how they also gained privileges due to material transfers from women’s parents into their own marriages. Men who married women who stood on their two feet represented the neoliberal masculinity of our times, in the sense that, they tried to maximize the material advantages of their marriages to be able to make investments to start up their own businesses or to accumulate capital for themselves. These marriages ended in divorce when women understood their husbands’ instrumental rationality and regretted the fact that they were the chosen ones instead of being able to choose whom to marry.

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