Cultural family conceptions as inhibitor for changes in family lives: the “leitbild” approach

Katrin Schiefer, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)
Sabine Diabaté, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)
Detlev Lück, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)
Kerstin Ruckdeschel, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

For a long time, the Federal Republic of Germany has been characterised by a low birth rate. In the past two decades, particularly socio-economic and structural frameworks were used to explain fertility behaviour. This presentation is to be understood as a plea for a cultural approach, so called "Leitbild" research. Here, normative-cultural explanations are developed to explain fertility behaviour and to obtain a deeper understanding of parental roles and roles within relationships. It is assumed that collectively shared guiding role models (Leitbilder) exist, which are influencing e.g. the relationship, the parent-child relationship and the decision for or against (further) children. Criteria are developed to provide a theoretical foundation for the empirical search for and identification of "Leitbilder" in the future. Finally, starting points for sociological research on "Leitbilder" and some findings are outlined.

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 Presented in Session 64. Attitudes, culture, religion