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Family Formation in Sweden around the Turn of the New Millennium
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis contains four empirical studies that examine patterns in family formation in Sweden around the turn of the new millennium. This is an interesting context for the topic because Sweden is often seen as a forerunner in family-demographic change as well as in gender equality and value developments. The empirical studies provide insight into the state of affairs of these developments. In all four studies, event-history analyses are applied to Swedish population register data. Two of the studies focus on first-marriage formation, while the other two focus on first childbearing. Study I reveals that starting from 1998 there was an increase in marriage-formation rates, which was not due to compositional changes in the population. This is in contrast to the common image of Sweden in the forefront of contemporary marriage decline. Study II shows that marriage rates for men and women display clear peaks at exact ages 30, 40, 50, and 60 as well as in the year 2000. The peaks demonstrate that in Sweden, marriage formation is not fully determined by conventional structural factors or individual characteristics. It illustrates that the choice to marry may be taken quite lightly in a context where differences between cohabitation and marriage are relatively small. Study III shows that the transition to parenthood varies across occupational groups. For both men and women, birth rates are positively related to own earnings. Birth rates are also high for those who work in a caring or teaching oriented occupation or in a gender-typical occupation. The findings may reflect differences in the possibility to take on parental responsibilities and they demonstrate the role of gendered behavior. Self-selection processes may also be important. In Study IV, the transition to parenthood for men and women is examined in relation to the sex composition of the workplace. Birth rates increase with the share of employees of the individual’s own sex, net of factors such as own earnings, public or private sector employment, occupation, and industry. This shows the importance of gender and gender structures in the work environment for childbearing behavior. 

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling består av ett introduktionskapitel och fyra empiriska studier som undersöker mönster i familjebildning i Sverige kring millennieskiftet. Detta är en intressant kontext för ämnet eftersom Sverige ofta ses som en föregångare inom familjedemografisk utveckling och jämställdhets- och värderingsförändringar. I samtliga studier tillämpas livsförloppsanalys på registerdata över befolkningen. De två första studierna fokuserar på förstagångsäktenskap och de andra två på barnafödande. Studie I visar att från 1998 skedde en uppgång av giftermålstalen, som inte berodde på sammansättningsförändringar i befolkningen. Detta står i kontrast till den typiska bilden av Sverige som föregångare i en allmän nedåtgående giftermålstrend. Studie II visar att giftermålstalen för män och kvinnor uppvisar tydliga toppar vid ”jämna” åldrar (30, 40, 50 och 60) samt under år 2000. Topparna åskådliggör att i Sverige formas giftermålsbeslut inte helt av konventionella strukturella faktorer eller individuella egenskaper. Detta kan spegla att i en kontext där skillnaderna mellan samboende och äktenskap är relativt små kan giftermålsbeslut fattas relativt lättvindigt. Studie III visar att benägenheten att skaffa ett första barn varierar mellan yrkesgrupper. För både män och kvinnor är födelsetalen positivt relaterade till inkomster och till arbete inom omsorg och utbildning. Detta återspeglar sannolikt skillnader i möjligheten att försörja en familj och att ta ansvar för omsorg av eventuella barn samt att män och kvinnor troligtvis väljer yrken som passar deras intressen. Benägenheten att skaffa barn är också större för de med könstypiska yrken, vilket indikerar att könsrollssocialisering spelar en central roll.  I studie IV undersöks sambandet mellan arbetsplatsens könssammansättning och benägenheten att skaffa ett första barn. För både män och kvinnor är benägenheten att skaffa barn högre ju större andel av kollegorna som tillhör ens eget kön. Detta visar att genus och könsstrukturer i arbetsmiljön kan påverka barnafödandebeslut.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University , 2015. , 40 p.
Series
Dissertation series / Stockholm University Demography Unit, ISSN 1404-2304 ; 13
Keyword [en]
family formation, marriage, childbearing, fertility, Sweden, labor market, occupation, sex segregation, workplace, gender, values
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116511ISBN: 978-91-7649-150-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-116511DiVA: diva2:806742
Public defence
2015-06-05, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Welfare, Labor-market Status and Family DynamicsRegister-based Research in Nordic Demography
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2008-0782Swedish Research Council, 839-2008-7495
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-05-14 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-05-19Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Sweden's marriage revival: an analysis of the new-millennium switch from long-term decline to increasing popularity
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sweden's marriage revival: an analysis of the new-millennium switch from long-term decline to increasing popularity
2011 (English)In: Population Studies, ISSN 0032-4728, E-ISSN 1477-4747, Vol. 65, no 2, 183-200 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Usually seen as a forerunner in the development of new trends in family-demographic behaviour, Sweden has recently experienced a reversal in marriage trends, from a steady decline in marriage rate between the 1960s and 1990s, to a steady increase beginning in 1998. An event-history analysis of women’s first marriages in the period 1991-2007, using register data, shows that compositional changes in labour-market activity and childbearing can only partly explain the reversal, and that apparently no part of it is explained by compositional changes in age, country of birth, educational level, and type of settlement. The evidence suggests that the popularity of marriage in Sweden is increasing, in contrast to what might be expected from the way demographic trends in Sweden and other Western countries are often portrayed in the literature.

Keyword
marriage, marriage trend, childbearing, cohabitation, Sweden, register data, event-history analysis, äktenskap, giftermål, barnafödande, samboende, Sverige, registerdata, överlevnadsanalys
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-71467 (URN)10.1080/00324728.2011.574724 (DOI)000299280900003 ()
Projects
Register-Based Research in Nordic Demography
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2012-01-27 Created: 2012-01-27 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. Digit preferences in marriage formation in Sweden: Millennium marriages and birthday peaks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Digit preferences in marriage formation in Sweden: Millennium marriages and birthday peaks
2014 (English)In: Demographic Research, ISSN 1435-9871, Vol. 30, 739-752 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND

Digit preferences are normally seen as potentially harmful biases in respondents’ reports. Possibly such preferences might also be the cause of some patterns found in Swedish marriage formation, thus affecting actual demographic behavior.

OBJECTIVE

Digit preferences in marriage formation in Sweden are examined − more specifically, the additional propensity to marry for the first time during the year 2000 or at ages ending with 0 − and their demographic and socioeconomic correlates.

METHODS

Event-history analyses are applied to Swedish register data covering 3.5 million men and women in 1991−2007.

RESULTS

First-marriage risks clearly increase for both men and women at exact ages 30, 40, 50, and 60 and in the year 2000. These patterns exist across demographic and socioeconomic groups and are not due to measurement error or random variation.

CONCLUSIONS

The timing of marriage is not strictly determined by conventional demographic or socioeconomic factors. Whether the findings are idiosyncratic to contexts like the Swedish, where there are small differences between marriage and cohabitation, remains to be answered.

Keyword
marriage, Sweden, register data, digit preference, event-history analysis
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-112032 (URN)10.4054/DemRes.2014.30.25 (DOI)000332528600001 ()
Projects
Welfare, Labor-market Status and Family DynamicsRegister-based Research in Nordic Demography
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2008-0782Swedish Research Council, 839-2008-7495
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
3. Type of occupation and the transition to parenthood in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Type of occupation and the transition to parenthood in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116521 (URN)
Projects
Welfare, Labor-market Status and Family DynamicsRegister-based Research in Nordic Demography
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2008-0782Swedish Research Council, 839-2008-7495
Available from: 2015-04-21 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-04-30
4. Workplace sex composition and the transition to parenthood – men and women in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Workplace sex composition and the transition to parenthood – men and women in Sweden
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociological Demography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116522 (URN)
Projects
Welfare, Labor-market Status and Family DynamicsRegister-based Research in Nordic Demography
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2008-0782Swedish Research Council, 839-2008-7495
Available from: 2015-04-21 Created: 2015-04-21 Last updated: 2015-04-30

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