The Long-Term Trend in the Timing of Births and Marriages: Does the Individualisation Theory Hold Up in the Light of Demographic Data?
Dlouhodobý vývoj v časování porodů a sňatků: Obstojí individualizační teorie ve světle demografi ckých dat?

Michaela Bartošová, Petr Pakosta, Petr Fučík
2012 Czech Sociological Review  
Sociological theories that work with the concept of individualisation assume, among other things, the occurrence of changes in the life course and especially in the timing and incidence of demographic transitions. Although it is not easy to establish a fi rm defi nition of individualisation, most researchers studying demographic phenomena work with the concepts of differentiation and de-standardisation. If we understand individualisation as a structural fact and leave aside its subjective
more » ... ent (individualised identity is not necessary linked to structural changes), it must initially emerge on the aggregate level in the form of the differentiation of life courses or the different timing of transitions. For example, individuals begin to marry and have children at different ages. It then becomes apparent at the individual level in the form of the de-standardisation of the life course, thus not just as a change in timing, but also as a change in the order and realisation of individual transitions. For example, the birth of a child does not necessarily occur after marriage. So it is not just shifts in timing that are of interest -these have already been suffi ciently studied in Czech demography -but also and above all the comparative distributions of these demographic phenomena. In this article the analysis works with two life transitions -marriage and fi rst-order births -and using time series from 1920 to 2004 the authors examine the dispersion in timing of these transitions over a large segment of the 20th century. Using more detailed data from the post-1989 transformation period, in addition to dispersion the authors also examine changes in the intervals between marriages and births and education as a factor in the observed phenomena. As a key indicator of life-course differentiation they use the dispersion in marriage timing and its trend over the 20th century, and as an indicator of the de-standardisation of life courses in the 1990s they use the interval between marriage and fi rst-order births.
doi:10.13060/00380288.2012.48.2.05 fatcat:cadyow5ikbaprerz75xlst3u5q