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VOLLANZEIGE #867
Fliegenschnee, Katrin: There are simply always enough good reasons against having a child! Fears and worries about motherhood among childless, highly educated Austrian women. Paper/Artikel, 2007. * *http://textfeld.ac.at/text/867/
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ABSTRACT
The starting point of the project was the question why people delay childbearing until later in life. Based on qualitative, problem-centred interviews with highly educated women in Vienna, this article investigates the effect of fears and uncertainties relating to this issue. The data were analysed with a combination of grounded theory and objective hermeneutic sequence analysis. The recent literature comprises works about the impact of uncertain economic conditions on fertility. The Second Demographic Transition assumes that ‘individual autonomy" and ‘female emancipation" are the main reasons for delaying family formation. Mc Donald argues that ‘gender equality" is the driving factor. The New Home Economics approach tries to explain the delay by the costs childbearing entails. The assessment of the present economic situation and future prospects produce insecurity and fears. Some theoretical considerations by Easterlin, Friedman at al. and Ajzen and Fishbein are useful for elucidating other parts of the results. The discussed theories are all relevant for explaining different dimensions of fears and worries concerning motherhood. Moreover, some findings show a somewhat different situation to the one often discussed in the literature. Apparently economic uncertainty is not the only decisive factor in fertility decisions. Women have the feeling that they are expected to carefully consider the consequences of their behaviour, which produces fears of acting irresponsibly. They are afraid of missing good working opportunities and worry about their financial situation. Some women are concerned about not living up to expectations—be it their own or those of others. Among the reasons mentioned for not having a child are the fear of ending up as single mother and having to sacrifice things that required a lot of hard work to obtain. From the women"s point of view, they will always lose out on something, no matter whether they decide for or against having a child. For highly educated women in Vienna, fertility is definitely an issue that involves a lot of fears and uncertainties.
LITERATUR
Kreyenfeld, Michaela | Manfred Lueger | Froschauer, Ulrike | Flick, Uwe | Liefbroer, Aart

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