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Postindustrial Fertility Ideals, Intentions, and Gender Inequality: A Comparative Qualitative Analysis
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Number of Authors: 42018 (English)In: Population and Development Review, ISSN 0098-7921, E-ISSN 1728-4457, Vol. 44, no 2, p. 281-309Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Fertility ideals remain centered on two children per woman in most postindustrial societies, presenting a puzzle for demographers interested in explaining very low fertility. This article explores the conditions producing a gap between fertility ideals and intentions among highly educated young women and men in four postindustrial countries. We employ in-depth interviews to analyze reasoning about fertility ideals and intentions in two countries with very low fertility (Japan and Spain) and two with slightly higher fertility (the United States and Sweden). We find that American and Swedish female interviewees are more likely than those in Japan and Spain to cite work/family conflict as a reason for their ideals/intentions gap. Our results also suggest that gender inequality is more important in generating low fertility intentions among highly educated interviewees in Japan than Spain. Taken together, these findings suggest complexities in how gender inequality affects fertility intentions among the highly educated in postindustrial contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 44, no 2, p. 281-309
National Category
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157676DOI: 10.1111/padr.12128ISI: 000434278500004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157676DiVA, id: diva2:1235997
Available from: 2018-07-30 Created: 2018-07-30 Last updated: 2018-07-30Bibliographically approved

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