“Children should be a part of my life, but I don’t know how to manage it.” A qualitative fertility study of highly educated women in Vienna

Katrin Fliegenschnee, Vienna Institute of Demography

This article investigates why highly educated women in Vienna postpone the realisation of their wish to have a child and how their social network influences this decision. A great deal of quantitative research has been conducted about these issues. Using a qualitative approach, the paper will present a different view on these problems. The research is based on data obtained in guideline interviews that were conducted in Austria in autumn 2005. They were analysed with the help of grounded theory and objective hermeneutic sequence analysis. Combining these methodological approaches has the advantage of yielding theoretical explanations on the micro level. This article reports on preliminary results. The two main categories presented here are the life concept and fears. It focuses on the questions of what steps people want to take in the future and who induced these ideas. It discusses the concerns and fears connected with the fertility decision and how people deal with it.

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Presented in Session 52: Socioeconomic influences on fertility