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Voluntary Associations and Net Fertility During the Swedish Demographic Transition
Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1527-279X
2018 (English)In: European Journal of Population, ISSN 0168-6577, E-ISSN 1572-9885Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the role of changing social relations for fertility decline during the European fertility transition. The growth of voluntary associations at the end of the nineteenth century entailed a radical shift in the landscape of social relations in Sweden. By combining micro-census data from 1890 to 1900 with local-level membership data for three voluntary association groups, this article assesses the effect of parish-level voluntary association size on net fertility in Sweden using mixed-effects Poisson regression models. The results show that the adoption of fertility limitation during the transition period was associated with the creation and diffusion of the idea of respectability within large social network organisations, an idea that has previously been shown to be connected to fertility limitation. Furthermore, by applying a social network perspective, the results show that the strength of the effect was dependent on the structure of the social networks in terms of size, density, and homogeneity. Voluntary association size had the strongest effect for the free churches, which created dense heterogeneous networks through systems of social control, while the size of the temperance association showed no effect on fertility because the connections between nodes were sparse.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Fertility transition, Social networks, Voluntary associations, Demographic transition
National Category
History
Research subject
Historical Demography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-143977DOI: 10.1007/s10680-018-9465-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-143977DiVA, id: diva2:1174573
Available from: 2018-01-16 Created: 2018-01-16 Last updated: 2018-06-09
In thesis
1. Shared practices: social networks and fertility decline during the Swedish demographic transition, 1850-1950
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Shared practices: social networks and fertility decline during the Swedish demographic transition, 1850-1950
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Sociala nätverk och fertilitetsnedgång under den svenska demografiska transitionen 1850-1950
Abstract [en]

This thesis studies how social interactions influenced the fertility decline during the Swedish demographic transition between 1850 and 1950. This, to gain insights into how and why norms and values affected married couples' birth control practices, and how this shaped the fertility decline. Social interaction effects are studied in two different networks, voluntary associations and spatial communities using regression-based methods, in four research papers. The relationship between social interactions and fertility, in turn, is studied at different levels of society, on a macro-, meso- and micro-level. The results show that married couples reproductive practices were affected by social interactions during the whole study period. Members of unions, free churches and temperance associations had, in general, lower fertility than others. Additionally, couples living near a union or a free-church was also more inclined to limit their fertility. Finally, the results show significant spatial autocorrelations in fertility of neighbours and couples in adjacent neighbourhoods. These results suggest that increased use of birth control was diffused within social networks through social interaction mechanisms and collective action. However, the most substantial effects are seen during the fertility transition. This was a time of large-scale societal changes, which made the perceived net benefits of childbearing more uncertain. The results of this thesis indicate that couples drew upon the experiences of others to make more informed decisions. Over time, these new shared practices were formed into social norms, connecting ideas of respectability with family limitation, diffused within social networks.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, 2018. p. 88
Series
Report from the Demographic Data Base, ISSN 0349-5132 ; 34
Keywords
historical demography, fertility transition, social interaction, social network, voluntary associations
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-147281 (URN)978-91-7601-891-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-01, Hörsal F, Humanisthuset, Umeå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-05-09 Created: 2018-05-02 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Junkka, Johan
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