Familyhood and Low Fertility in Italy in Comparative Perspective

Laura Bernardi, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Alessandra Gribaldo, Brown University
Anna Oppo, Università di Cagliari

This paper deals with the relation between strong family ties and reproductive behavior in contemporary Italy. Central to the analysis is the theoretical concept of “familyhood” (famiglianza), term which expresses the sense of identity provided by being part of a social group of relatives. In particular, we examine the interdependencies between family exchanges and family formation in the two Italian regions of Sardinia and Emilia Romagna, two regions which are characterized by long term divergences in reproductive behavior and gender role patterns. We use a multi methods approach, taking advantage of two large and regional representative surveys (Famiglie e Soggetti Sociali 1998 and 2003) and rich ethnographic data collected in 2004-5 in the main cities of the two regions. In all datasets both partners are interviewed. First results focus on the differences in the patterns of exchange among family members, the meaning attributed to them and to family relations in general

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 102: New Perspectives on Low Fertility