To have or not to have a baby? To become or not to become a parent? This is the question. The reproductive behaviour of European Youth.
AbstractIn the post-Fordist knowledge societies life course and related assumptions of normality are subject to social change, whose most noticeable characteristics are flexibilisation and individualisation (Giddens, 1990; Beck, 1992; Bauman, 2000; 2001; 2002). The classical markers for adulthood work and family are undergoing a process of delimitation (Böhnisch, 2003) while uncertainty and insecurity increase. As to the decision of having children, young people have to deal with the critical task of family building although neither the practice nor the meaning of family is any longer self-evident within male and female life course. Moreover they are faced not only with their (future) roles and obligations of parenthood but also with many other problems and tasks, which belong to modern growth to adulthood. The aim of this research is to study in a comparative perspective the reproductive behaviour of European young people, highlighting the interplay between institutional contexts and subjective life-planning.
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