Exploring social norms around cohabitation : The life course, individualization, and culture

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State: Public
Version: Final published version
Serval ID
serval:BIB_185A32C9C1E7
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Exploring social norms around cohabitation : The life course, individualization, and culture
Journal
Demographic Research
Author(s)
Perelli-Harris B., Bernardi L.
Publication state
Published
Issued date
2015
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
33
Number
25
Pages
701-732
Language
english
Notes
1866
Abstract
Background: Explanations of the increase in cohabitation often rely on the concept of ideational change and shifting social norms. While researchers have investigated cohabitation and the role of social norms from a quantitative perspective, few studies have examined how people discuss the normative context of cohabitation, especially in cross-national comparison.
Objective: This article introduces a Special Collection that uses focus group research to compare social norms relating to cohabitation and marriage in 8 countries in Europe. The Introduction explicates the concept of social norms, describes the focus group project, reflects on the methodâeuro?s advantages and limitations, and summarizes the theoretical and methodological contributions of the project.
Methods: Collaborators conducted 7â^'8 focus groups in each country using a standardized questionnaire. They coded each discussion, analyzed the results, and produced a country-specific chapter on a particular theme. They also collaborated on an overview paper that synthesized the overall findings of the project.
Results: The articles provide insights into the meanings of partnership formation in each country. In addition, their findings contribute to three main theoretical themes: 1) life courses, sequencing, and intersections; 2) individualization, freedom, and commitment; and 3) culture, religion, and the persistence of the past.
Conclusions: This Special Collection contributes to and challenges current explanations of family change by pointing out how social norms shape partnership behavior. The project informs quantitative research by emphasizing the need for a culturally informed interpretation of demographic behavior. We urge researchers to recognize the multiple meanings of cohabitation within each context and across countries.
Keywords
cohabitation, marriage, social norms, comparative
Open Access
Yes
Create date
18/08/2016 17:06
Last modification date
20/08/2019 12:48
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