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Wishing, choosing and wanting. On the decision to have a child

Lundqvist, Åsa LU and Roman, C (2003) In Sociologisk Forskning 40(1). p.12-34
Abstract
Falling birth rates within the European Union have given rise to a number of studies, trying to analyse and interpret why women (and men) choose not to have (many) children. One attempt in this direction is made by an ongoing EU-project, involving eight countries, including Sweden. Qualitative interviews focusing on couples' decisions to have- or not have - children have been carried out in each country. Drawing on the Swedish data, this article argues that the ongoing, and gendered, processes of individualization and de-traditionalization, as well as economic structures and economic cycles, affect such decisions. That is, couples' decisions about having children are closely connected to questions both concerning the possibilities to live... (More)
Falling birth rates within the European Union have given rise to a number of studies, trying to analyse and interpret why women (and men) choose not to have (many) children. One attempt in this direction is made by an ongoing EU-project, involving eight countries, including Sweden. Qualitative interviews focusing on couples' decisions to have- or not have - children have been carried out in each country. Drawing on the Swedish data, this article argues that the ongoing, and gendered, processes of individualization and de-traditionalization, as well as economic structures and economic cycles, affect such decisions. That is, couples' decisions about having children are closely connected to questions both concerning the possibilities to live "a life of your own" within the nuclear family, and to household finances and job security. Furthermore, the choice to have a baby is considered a risk project, which might involve not only poor finances and problems at work, but also increasing tensions between partners concerning the division of housework. Due to persisting gender inequalities outside, as well as inside, the couple relationship,women particularly seem to fear that a(nother) child would negatively affect their possibilities of "living a life on their own". (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
detraditionalization, economic structures and economic cycles, individualization, gender relations, family, birth rates
in
Sociologisk Forskning
volume
40
issue
1
pages
12 - 34
publisher
Sociologisk Forskning
external identifiers
  • wos:000182956100002
  • scopus:0037908777
ISSN
2002-066X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
332573bb-48d8-4724-b0e1-e37aa9085a6e (old id 900309)
date added to LUP
2008-01-14 21:15:20
date last changed
2018-01-07 09:23:51
@article{332573bb-48d8-4724-b0e1-e37aa9085a6e,
  abstract     = {Falling birth rates within the European Union have given rise to a number of studies, trying to analyse and interpret why women (and men) choose not to have (many) children. One attempt in this direction is made by an ongoing EU-project, involving eight countries, including Sweden. Qualitative interviews focusing on couples' decisions to have- or not have - children have been carried out in each country. Drawing on the Swedish data, this article argues that the ongoing, and gendered, processes of individualization and de-traditionalization, as well as economic structures and economic cycles, affect such decisions. That is, couples' decisions about having children are closely connected to questions both concerning the possibilities to live "a life of your own" within the nuclear family, and to household finances and job security. Furthermore, the choice to have a baby is considered a risk project, which might involve not only poor finances and problems at work, but also increasing tensions between partners concerning the division of housework. Due to persisting gender inequalities outside, as well as inside, the couple relationship,women particularly seem to fear that a(nother) child would negatively affect their possibilities of "living a life on their own".},
  author       = {Lundqvist, Åsa and Roman, C},
  issn         = {2002-066X},
  keyword      = {detraditionalization,economic structures and economic cycles,individualization,gender relations,family,birth rates},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {12--34},
  publisher    = {Sociologisk Forskning},
  series       = {Sociologisk Forskning},
  title        = {Wishing, choosing and wanting. On the decision to have a child},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2003},
}