Studying Family Formation Trajectories’ Deinstitutionalization in Russia Using Sequence Analysis
This study focuses on changing family formation trajectories in the Russian Federation. In European countries, pathways to family ceased being stable several decades ago, while in Russia – as in any post-socialist country – such features of life course deinstitutionalization as postponement of marriage, rising cohabitation, and reordering of events were revealed only in the 1990s and explained from the perspective of the Second Demographic Transition (SDT). Our aim is to demonstrate how family formation trajectories of men and women from different generations were transforming with the incorporation of data mining. The three-wave panel data of the Russian part of the “Generations and Gender Survey” (2004, 2007, 2011; N=5321) and the retrospective data of the survey “Person, Family, Society” (2013; N=4477) are used for achieving this aim. Sequence Analysis shows that generations born after 1970 started to exhibit de-standardized family formation trajectories. As the proportion of Russians who raise children in cohabitation or while single rises, such models of behavior become more widely accepted and practiced in contemporary Russia. Women experience more events in the family trajectory, take steps toward family formation earlier, and stay alone with children more often than men. Matrimonial and reproductive behavior has become diverse, proving that Russia fully exhibits the SDT.