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

Author

Listed:
  • 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)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Sylvia Keim & Andreas Klärner & Laura Bernardi, 2009. "Fertility-relevant social networks: composition, structure, and meaning of personal relationships for fertility intentions," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-006, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-006
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-006.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kohler, Hans-Peter, 2001. "Fertility and Social Interaction: An Economic Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244591.
    2. William Axinn & Marin Clarkberg & Arland Thornton, 1994. "Family influences on family size preferences," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(1), pages 65-79, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Germany; fertility; qualitative methods; social network;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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