Sociologický časopis
Czech sociological review


← Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 1/2009

Michaela Bartošová:
Women over Thirty – Specific Reproductive Strategies and Their Sources [147]

Bartošová, Michaela. 2009. „Ženy po třicítce – příklad specifických reprodukčních strategií a jejich zdrojů.“ Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 45 (1): 147-176

Abstract: A specific feature of Czech women today, who are timing the motherhood or staying childless after thirty, stems from their socialisation in a different political and demographical regime than they were in at the start of their reproductive period. The changes connected with the transformation of Czech society after 1989 affected their life courses. Instead of following the demographic behaviour of their mothers why do these women postpone motherhood to a later age or remain childless? What do the life courses and reproductive strategies of contemporary women over thirty look like? The qualitative research discussed in this article is based on in-depth interviews with primaparas over thirty and their childless peers conducted in order to examine the dynamics and character of their decision to become a mother. The research applied grounded theory and identified five different types of reproductive strategies: ‚to have a child no matter what‘, ‚to have a child with the right partner‘, ‚waiting for the right time‘, ‚hesitating over whether to have a child or not‘, ‚not having a child‘. Consequently the specific sources of these strategies were described. Background family experiences combined with the experiences from the period of childlessness in adulthood can lead to the development of an ‚individualised habitus‘, which can block the transition to the motherhood phase. In the Czech context the development of an individualised habitus can be strengthened by the unequal distribution of gender roles in the family of origin as well as in partnerships in adulthood.

Keywords: women over thirty, reproductive strategies, family and partnership, individualization, gender equity, Czech Republic.

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