Can a good mother work fulltime? Concept of motherhood and fertility in cross-European comparison

Kerstin Ruckdeschel, Bundesinstitut für Bevoelkerungsforschung

The low birth rate in Germany is said to be caused, among other reasons like social structure and family policy, by a very conservative concept of motherhood among women. High professional commitment combined with adherence to a conservative understanding of motherhood leads to a problem of reconciliation, often resulting in a delay in childbearing. In this paper the concept of motherhood and its consequences for fertility is to be analysed in an European context to check out its weight in explaining the reasons for low fertility. Analysis is concentrating on the micro level, i.e. values and orientations can be compared directly with the individual number of children. The macro level is taken in by measuring the impact of family policy. Data base is the PPAS, an international survey on attitudes and opinions on demographic issues collected between 2000 and 2002 in 13 European countries.

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Presented in Poster Session 2