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De-standardization of family trajectories: Childbearing in unmarried cohabitation not only as an alternative but also as a pathway to marriage

Authors
Journal
Kontakt
1212-4117
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
16
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.kontakt.2014.05.001
Keywords
  • Social Studies
Disciplines
  • Law

Abstract

Abstract Based on a secondary analysis of data from qualitative research of unmarried parental couples, this article explores childbearing in unmarried cohabitation from the perspective of de-standardisation and individualization of family trajectories. Drawing upon a differentiation of their situation at the moment around childbirth and their actual attitudes, it distinguishes heterogeneity of views of unmarried parents on the position of an unmarried cohabitation with child in their family trajectories. Overall, the analysis identifies five dimensions of individualization of attitudes in family formation processes: (1) diversification of views on timing of entry to marriage in terms of age and length of unmarried cohabitation, (2) an emphasis on situational barriers to entry into marriage, (3) weakening of influence of the family of orientation, (4) a consideration of views on the legal (dis)advantages of marriage, and (5) different symbolic meanings attached to marriage and unmarried cohabitation and to the status of married and unmarried partners.

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