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Uncertain, changing and situated fertility intentions : a qualitative analysis
Title of the book
Reproductive Decision-Making in a Macro-Micro Environment
Philippov, D. Liefbroer, A. Koblas, J.
In this chapter, we examine the multiple dimensions of declarations of fertility in-tention in order to provide a critical reading of currently used indicators of the childbearing decision-making process. Using a qualitative approach, we pay atten-tion to the complexity of the process through which individuals make (or fail to make) plans regarding their reproductive future. The data are a series of compara-ble in-depth interviews conducted in a number of European countries with varying fertility levels, and differing normative and institutional contexts. First, we ana-lyze the meanings that respondents attribute to their childbearing intentions, pay-ing particular attention to uncertain intentions that are often underanalyzed. Se-cond, we study the ways in which individuals vary in holding to their intentions over time, and consider why they might change their minds, even over relatively short periods of time. Third, we examine how several aspects of the larger social context (attitudes towards having children, family policy, norms related to the di-vision of labor, norms about the timing of children) shape fertility intentions.
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