Family traditionalism and age-specific nuptiality patterns: what does the example of Karachay-Cherkessia point to?
The paper deals with the relation between traditional family norms and women’s age at first marriage. The study is based on data from Karachay-Cherkessia, a republic of the North Caucasus (Russia), and uses results of a survey among women of reproductive ages conducted there in 2018. It has been demonstrated that traditional family norms, including those empowering elder generations and limiting women’s social role to housework and bringing up children, are rather strong in that region. It is currently assumed that these norms generally correlate with women’s younger age at first marriage. However, our analysis of the data from Karachay-Cherkessia, which used proportional hazard models and logistic regressions, does not fit this assumption. Specifically, it turns out that precisely that ethnic group of Karachay-Cherkessia which shows a higher concentration of traditional family norms also demonstrates a statistically significant tendency towards women’s older age at first marriage. Thus the relation between traditional family norms and the timing of marriage appears to vary more across different societies than is supposed. The consequences of this result for the study of demographic transformations taking place in different countries and regions together with the breakdown of traditional family norms are discussed.
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