Who Chooses What - a Study of Partnership Formation

Emese Vita , Sociology

In Western and Northern European countries cohabitation is the most general partnership form, especially among young adults. However, demographic and partnership behaviour is not the same in the whole part of Europe: the southern and eastern region, including Romania, is characterized by a relatively low proportion of cohabitation, even among younger birth cohorts (GGP 2005, Eurostat census data 2011). One main question of this paper is that, what kind of sociological mechanisms works behind the formation of partnership types and in what extent plays role the person’s socioeconomic status in relationship formation. The overall aim of the paper is to reveal and examine the socio-economic profiles which lay behind cohabitations in Romanian society. The examined data are extracted from two different databases, based on representative surveys: the Turning Points of Life Course program from 2008 including almost 2400 cases, and another quantitative research from 2018. A specify of the analysis is that we can test our hypothesis also on that latter database, which includes a representative sample with 1300 cases of the Hungarian minority from Romania, aged 18–49. As methods we used multilevel regression models and factor analysis. Our first results show that in Romania cohabitation has spread in different social layers and a considerable proportion of cohabiters belong to the lower social strata, and a high prevalence can be observed among socially disadvantaged groups: lower educated, unskilled people, with unfavorable position on labour market, and with bad earning prospects. In addition among ethnic Hungarians living in Transylvania, a smaller but remarkable group (about one third) of cohabiters belongs to those well-educated.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course