Changing Family Formation Behavior in Postsocialist Countries

Theodore P. Gerber

in Socialism Vanquished, Socialism Challenged

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199895977
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980116 | DOI:
Changing Family Formation Behavior in Postsocialist Countries

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After the collapse of state socialism, the Eastern European and post-Soviet countries experienced a common set of dramatic, rapid, and unprecedented changes in marriage and fertility patterns: the institution of marriage has significantly weakened and low fertility has become the norm. Neither of the two most popular explanations for these shifts, emphasizing either economic crisis or normative change, offers a wholly convincing account; a third, “political institutional” perspective focusing on the precise nature of the change from state socialist to liberal institutions offers more promise. Although changes in family formation behavior have only recently begun to receive much attention, their consequences for their societies may prove just as enduring as those of the economic, political, and cultural transformations.

Keywords: marriage; cohabitation; fertility; economic crisis; cultural change; institutions

Chapter.  9235 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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