The problem of short-term fluctuations in fertility has yet to receive an unambiguous and adequate explanation. Some of the short-term fluctuations in fertility could be related to various societal instabilities. Dr. Frantsuz attempts to investigate the impact of sociopolitical instability on fertility by developing a model linking macro-level instability with its perceptions as uncertainty at micro-level that, in turn, impact decision-making on fertility outcomes. This model is based on a modified version of the rational choice-based uncertainty reduction theory.
According to the uncertainty reduction theory, higher fertility rates may counterintuitively reflect people’s effort to reduce uncertainty at periods of higher instability. Dr. Frantsuz tests and partially confirms this hypothesis by the application of an APC analysis to fertility data from Soviet and post-Soviet Russia from 1959 through 1998, a period marked by various kinds of instability. The model helps to explain some of the sudden short-term fluctuations in fertility during the period of research that other social and demographic theories failed to interpret. These findings have led to certain suggestions in refining the uncertainty reduction theory. Furthermore, the model relates various types, intensities, and magnitudes of instabilities to fertility outcomes.
Yuri Frantsuz is a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University of New Mexico and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Sociology of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is also a faculty member at the Smolny College of Liberal Arts and Science and the St. Petersburg University of Humanities and Social Sciences. He received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Minnesota. His areas of research interest include social and political demography, sociology of health, and social inequality and health.
Please register for this lecture at https://go.illinois.edu/frantsuz-lecture
Supported by the Outreach Lecturing Fund (OLF) of the Fulbright Scholar Program.