2013–2014

Gender Equity and Low Fertility in Postindustrial Societies

Sociology

My research addresses the question of why some postindustrial societies are experiencing very low fertility rates and others are not. The principal materials I will use during the fellowship year are transcripts of structured in-depth interviews with young men and women in five countries. I seek to hire two students, one who is bilingual in English and Korean and one who is bilingual in English and Spanish, to translate key parts of the interviews and to code key themes. I would also like the native Spanish speaker to help me conduct a literature review of Spanish-language materials on trends in cohabitation, marriage, and fertility in Spain over the past 20 years.

My project will benefit enormously from the language capabilities of the students. The project will also benefit from the insights and interpretations that the students will be able to offer based on their own reading of the interview transcripts; we will share our interpretations and discuss them in regularly scheduled meetings.

Students will learn how qualitative work in demography is carried out. This is an underdeveloped area and they will be able to gain an understanding of how quantitative and qualitative methods in research on gender and family can complement each other. They will also see firsthand how a sociologist carries out comparative work across several societies.