IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/don/donwpa/040.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Social customs and demographic change: The case of godparenthood in Catholic Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Guido Alfani
  • Vincent Gourdon
  • Agnese Vitali

Abstract

This article analyzes social norms regulating selection of godparents in Italy and France and how they will be affected by demographic change. On the grounds of Vatican statistics and of the World Values Survey, it demonstrates that baptisms still occur for the vast majority of children in Catholic Europe and that birth rituals are considered important even by non-believers. Relying on historical data, it shows that the custom of selecting godparents from among kinsmen, currently dominant, is a recent development. A new survey about selection of godparents in Italy and France is used which shows that they are not chosen for religious, but for social-relational reasons. Selection of kinsmen is the norm, with uncles and aunts being the majority choice. For Italy, choice determinants are explored by means of multinomial regressions. The results are contrasted with demographic change to show that in lowest-low fertility countries current godparenthood models are bound to disappear.

Suggested Citation

  • Guido Alfani & Vincent Gourdon & Agnese Vitali, 2011. "Social customs and demographic change: The case of godparenthood in Catholic Europe," Working Papers 040, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  • Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:040
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: ftp://ftp.dondena.unibocconi.it/WorkingPapers/Dondena_WP040.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Guido Alfani & Vincent Gourdon, 2010. "Entrepreneurs, formalisation of social ties and trustbuilding in Europe (14th-20th centuries)," Working Papers 025, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Godparenthood; godparents; spiritual kinship; demographic change; social change; social customs; social norms; baptism; lowest-low fertility;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:040. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Amy Johnson). General contact details of provider: http://www.dondena.unibocconi.it/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.