9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN13 Sociology of Families and Intimate Lives

2009-09-04 13:30:00 2009-09-04 15:00:00 Friday, 4 September 13:30 - 15:00 Partnerships Building II, Auditório B1.04

Trends of family formation in contemporary Lithuania: reflection in mass-media

Research goal was to describe images of matrimonial behaviour in contemporary Lithuanian society. Therefore, qualitative document analysis method was used. Articles and messages from most popular daily and two journals were analysed.
The central research object was partnership. Research tasks concerns variety of partnership formation/dissolution models and its trends. The hypotheses were formulated based on P. Bourdieu' s theories on habitus and capitals that state: persons with different amount and structure of capitals have own habitus that could be observed from the tastes, attitudes, behaviour models.
Research results showed that registered marriage in mass-media still has image of the basic family formation strategy in the country. Meanwhile, alternative models of family formation usually are showed as practiced in particular situations during the life course and are not internalized as habitus. As most conservative advocates of traditional family model represented: (1) communities of villages and small towns, where social control of natural order is applied to a lesser degree only for older people and for people who choose an alternative family model after divorce; (2) men from the middle and the higher social strata, who usually hold an attitude that registered marriage is indispensable and children have to grow in full families. As initiators and promoters of new family models presented: (1) young people, especially from the middle and the higher social strata, who pursue careers outside Lithuania or/and travel abroad frequently; (2) youth who seek career in Lithuania; (3) women from the higher social strata whose matrimonial behaviour is dictated not so much by their own choice but rather by subconscious rationality, which arises from the intersection of demographic-social asymmetry in the society and internalized traditional value sets, as well as the remaining strict social control.