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Article

Сожительства в России: промежуточное звено или легитимный институт

Артамонова А. В., Митрофанова Е. С.

Russia has been characterized by an early and universal marriage for a long time. After the Soviet Union collapse, the average ages for marriage have been rising, marital unions have becoming rarer while cohabitations have becoming common because of changes in norms and values that citizens of many other countries witnessed several decades before. Many scholars have observed this trend and tried to explain its reasons through the perspective of the Second Demographic Transition and Globalization theories. Current research is another attempt to understand these changes. The aim of this research was to define the nature of cohabitations in Russia, and find out the factors of entrance to non-marital unions. For these purposes, we used Event History Analysis and Sequence Analysis. The key requirement in using these methods is applying longitudinal or retrospective collections of data that have become the gold standard of current quantitative social science. Accordingly, the three-wave panel data of the Russian part of “Generations and Gender Survey” and the retrospective data of “Person, Family, Society” were chosen for this study. The opposite trends of matrimonial behavior were revealed: the younger Russian people are, the higher their probabilities to start the first cohabitation and the lower their risks to have the first marriage. Cohabitation is not a complete alternative to marriage in our country yet, but the proportion of Russians, for whom cohabitation does not grow into a marriage, rises, and young people start to consider a non-marital union appropriate for childbearing. It is a sign that cohabitation is close to become an independent social institution for young non-religious people who get secondary vocational education in big cities.