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Gender and fertility within the free churches in the Sundsvall region, Sweden, 1860–1921
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
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7439-002X
2016 (English)In: The History of the Family, ISSN 1081-602X, E-ISSN 1873-5398, Vol. 21, no 2, p. 243-266Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The role of secularization in the European fertility decline has been of interest to demographers, who often explore the relationship on a macro-level or by identifying religious affiliation by proxy. However, the relationship has not been thoroughly studied on an individual level utilizing indicators of personal religious conviction and affiliation. The aim of the present article is to examine reproductive practices by religious affiliation in order to understand the impact of secularization on fertility decline. This is accomplished using event history analysis of longitudinal parish register data from Sundsvall (1860–1921) where religious affiliation is identified on a family level. Reproductive practices are analysed using cohort TFR, descriptive statistics and Cox proportional hazard regressions. Free-church affiliates had, overall, a higher probability of having another child than did affiliates to the state church. However, these differences decreased over time, and as fertility dropped throughout society free-church affiliates showed the strongest significant reduction in probability of another birth. This indicates that over time, within the free churches, ideas about respectability and restraint came to mean that birth control, in the form of abstinence within marriage, became an important practice in the formation of gendered religious identities - leading to a relatively early decrease in fertility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2016. Vol. 21, no 2, p. 243-266
Keywords [en]
fertility decline, religion, gender, secularization
Keywords [sv]
fertilitetsnedgång, religion, genus, sekularisering
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105082DOI: 10.1080/1081602X.2015.1043929ISI: 000377774100006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-105082DiVA, id: diva2:823430
Available from: 2015-06-18 Created: 2015-06-17 Last updated: 2018-06-07Bibliographically approved
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, JohanEdvinsson, Sören
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