Navigation and service

Sonja Haug (2002)

Family, Social Capital and Social Integration: An Explanation of Ethnic Differences in Mate Selection and Reproductive Behaviour of Young Adults of German, Italian and Turkish Origin*

In: Zeitschrift für Bevölkerungswissenschaft, Vol. 27, 4/2002, p. 393-425, Opladen: Verlag Leske + Budrich, ISSN: 0340-2398

The article examines the family formation patterns of 18- to-30-year olds of German, Italian and Turkish origin using the integration survey of the Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB). Here, interethnic partnerships with Germans are valued against the theoretical background of the social capital approach as an indicator for social integration. It is examined to what extent social structural aspects of integration and ethnic-cultural standards and attitudes influence the choice of partner and reproductive behaviour. Adaptation to German family formation patterns is more widespread among respondents of Italian origin than among Turkish respondents. In particular, the behaviour of Turkish women is typified by early marriage and birth of the first child, as well as by a high degree of ethnic homogamy. Interethnic partnerships are widely accepted among most respondents, but are relatively rare in practice, with the exception of Italian-origin men of German nationality. A mixed German-foreign marriage on the part of the parents, as well as a knowledge of German and a high level of education, German friends and a low subjectively-perceived share of foreigners at the place of residence has a positive influence among migrants on the probability of a partnership with a German. Marriage and parenthood are closely linked in all ethnic groups. Age, gender and level of education largely determine reproductive behaviour. Interethnic choice of partner and reproductive behaviour are related to education: The higher the level of education, the more common it becomes to have a German partner, and the fewer children are born. Ethnic and cultural standards such as traditional attitudes towards standards of intergenerational relationships, as well as widespread Islamic religiosity, have a hindering effect on partnerships with Germans. Such factors, as well as the desire for a large number of children, do not directly effect reproductive behaviour; however they go hand-in-hand with a higher tendency to marry, which in turn as a rule is linked to parenthood.

* Original title: Familie, soziales Kapital und soziale Integration: Zur Erklärung ethnischer Unterschiede in Partnerwahl und generativem Verhalten bei jungen Erwachsenen deutscher, italienischer und türkischer Abstammung (full text in German only)

This Page

© Federal Institute for Population Research - 2017