Exploring social norms around cohabitation: the lifecourse, individualization, and culture

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Serval ID
serval:BIB_B2FC6952D556
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Exploring social norms around cohabitation: the lifecourse, individualization, and culture
Journal
Demographic Research
Author(s)
Brienna Perelli-Harris, Laura Bernardi
Publication state
Published
Issued date
10/2015
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
33
Number
25
Pages
701-732
Language
english
Notes
Introduction to Special Collection: "Focus on Partnerships: Discourses on cohabitation and marriage throughout Europe and Australia"
Abstract
BACKGROUND Explanations for 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 method's advantages and limitations, and summarizes the theoretical and methodological contributions of the project.
METHODS Collaborators conducted 7-8 focus groups in each country using a standardized questionnaire. They coded each discussion, analysed 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) lifecourses, 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 for family change by pointing out how social norms shape partnership behavior. The project informs quantitative research by emphasizing the need for nuances in interpretation. We urge researchers to recognize the multiple meanings of cohabitation within each context and across countries.
Keywords
partnership, cohabitation, focus groups, social norms
Open Access
Yes
Create date
17/07/2015 16:40
Last modification date
11/02/2020 7:19
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