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Spatial diffusion of fertility decline in northern Sweden, 1850-1950
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
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article studies how married couples’ fertility behaviours were af-fected by the behaviours of their  arried neighbours, in northern Sweden from 1850 to 1950. The relationship is studied at two geographical scales, as aggregate level autocorrelations between neighbourhoods and as individual level diffusion effects between neighbours. The study contributes to the discussion on the role of spatial diffusion for the European fertility decline by using longitudinal demographic data with a much more detailed spatial information than previous studies. The results show that couples in adjacent neighbourhoods had similar fertility at the onset and during the fertility transition and not after or long before. Similar patterns were found for effects of long-term changes in neighbour fertility while short-term effects showed to opposite patterns. Short-term effects did only affect fertility before or after and not during the fertility transition. The results suggest that couples fertility was affected by social interaction mechanisms within networks of neighbours not only during but also before and after the European fertility transition.

Keywords [en]
fertility transition, spatial diffusion, social networks, neighbours, demographic transition
National Category
History
Research subject
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-147280OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-147280DiVA, id: diva2:1202920
Available from: 2018-05-02 Created: 2018-05-02 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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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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