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Fertility-relevant social networks: composition, structure, and meaning of personal relationships for fertility intentions

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Author Info

  • Sylvia Keim

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Andreas Klärner

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Laura Bernardi

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    Abstract

    Although the relevance of social interactions or social networks for fertility research has been increasingly acknowledged in recent years, little is known about the channels and mechanisms of social influences on individuals� fertility decision making. Drawing on problem-centred interviews and network data collected among young adults in western Germany the authors show that qualitative methods broaden our understanding of social and contextual influences on couples� fertility intentions, by exploring the phenomenon, taking into account subjective perceptions, analysing interactions within networks as well as the dynamics of networks. Qualitative methods allow for the collection and analysis of rich retrospective information on network dynamics in relation to life course events. This also can be helpful both to complement the still rare longitudinal data on social networks and to develop parsimonious and efficient survey instruments to collect such information in a standardized way.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-006.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2009-006.

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    Length: 27 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-006

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

    Related research

    Keywords: Germany; fertility; qualitative methods; social network;

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    1. William Axinn & Marin Clarkberg & Arland Thornton, 1994. "Family influences on family size preferences," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 65-79, February.
    2. Kohler, Hans-Peter, 2001. "Fertility and Social Interaction: An Economic Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244591, September.
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