MPIDR Working Paper

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

Keim, S., Klärner, A., Bernardi, L.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2009-006, 27 pages.
Rostock, Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung (März 2009)
Submitted to peer reviewed journal, minor revisions pending for acceptance
OpenAccess

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.
Schlagwörter: Deutschland, fertility, qualitative methods, social network
Das Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung (MPIDR) in Rostock ist eines der international führenden Zentren für Bevölkerungswissenschaft. Es gehört zur Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, einer der weltweit renommiertesten Forschungsgemeinschaften.