« [SSJ: 10470] Yves Tiberghien lecture on Japan's New Leadership in Liberal Economic Governance, UTokyo, December 13, 2018 | Main | [SSJ: 10472] GraSPP Research Seminar Series/ SSU Forum "North Korea: A view from Pyongyang" [December 11st, Speaker: Alastair Morgan, Her Majesty's Ambassador Pyongyang, 2015-2018] »

November 30, 2018

[SSJ: 10471] ISS / Shaken PhD Kenkyukai, December 13 (Thu): Markus Klingel (Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Germany)

From: Gregory Noble <noble@iss.u-tokyo.ac.jp>
Date: 2018/11/29

Dear friends and colleagues,

I am writing to invite you to the next meeting of the PhD Kenkyukai,
hosted by the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo, from
12:15-1:45 pm on December 13, 2018 (Thursday).

Speaker: Markus Klingel, (Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Germany)
Title: Negotiating Love, Autonomy, and Commitment: Individual Ambitions, Postponed Parenthood, and Declining Fertility

Time: Dec. 13 (Thu), 12:15-1:45pm
Location: Rm. 308, ISS / Shaken Main Building


My PhD project "Negotiating the Dyadic Life Course" uses a mixed-methods design to examine three 'biographical dilemmas' that illustrate couple dynamics in late modern, individualized societies. These three cases exemplify the interrelation between the micro level of intimate relationships and the contextual, societal macro level. In particular, I am interested in decision making at crucial turning points in couples' lives, such as the transition to parenthood. Actors in these situations have to privilege either individual autonomy and self-realization or intimate relationships and dyadic commitment. In the aggregate, these decisions at the micro-level drive macro-level demographic change.

After introducing my general research framework, I summarize the main findings of one case study, a panel analysis on the transition to parenthood in Germany. Do agentic actors not only control, but also try to 'project' and 'schedule' fertility to fit parenthood into their busy life plan(s)? Do occupational benefits lead to postponement of parenthood, due to a 'positive' work-family conflict? Findings reveal multi-directional influences from the work domain on fertility timing. For example, work satisfaction triggers fertility planning, whereas personal importance of work delays it. Furthermore, clear gender differences in regard to fertility planning emerge: a male work orientation and a female relationship orientation.

Finally, I will discuss my research from a cross-cultural comparative perspective and relate it to the Japanese family and demographic situation. In the long run, the Western trend toward individualized, flexible, and even fluid intimate relationships may not be the best, most sustainable or at least not the only possible adaption to social change. In contrast, Japanese norms and values constrain individual autonomy and thus also innovative demographic behavior. Increased single-hood, as a choice of highly educated women, and demographic aging have been the most striking results. However, given modifications such as more gender equality, might Japanese values work in the long-run as a protective factor against 'radicalized' individualization and offer alternatives to fragile Western relationship models?

Short Bio

PhD candidate in sociology, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Germany. Undergraduate studies at Humboldt-University, Berlin: major psychology, minor anthropology. Working dissertation title: "Negotiating the Life Course: Dyadic Life Course Decision Making and the Limits of Agency in Late/Postmodern Times." Completion anticipated summer 2019. Research stay at the University of Tokyo: 15.10.2018 - 28.2.2019. Hosts: Professors Shirahase and Ishida. Email: mklingel@bigsss-bremen.de <mailto:mklingel@bigsss-bremen.de>Gregory W. Noble

Approved by ssjmod at 01:22 PM