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Changing Gender Roles and Attitudes to Family Formation in Ireland$
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Margret Fine-Davis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096969

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096969.001.0001

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People’s priorities and values

People’s priorities and values

(p.114) 6 People’s priorities and values
Changing Gender Roles and Attitudes to Family Formation in Ireland

Margret Fine-Davis

Manchester University Press

In order to better understand the determinants of family formation, we examined people’s values and priorities, as these undoubtedly contribute to people’s life choices. Taking into account social theory concerning the second demographic transition, increasing individualisation and post-materialist values, we developed measures of people’s priorities and values. We then explored the relative values and priorities of men and women and those in different family statuses, as well as their levels of satisfaction with various aspects of their lives. While men and women did not differ in terms of the importance of being in a relationship or having children, women – perhaps surprisingly – put a slightly higher priority on their freedom and independence and men put a higher priority on having a job or career. Married people, followed by cohabiting people, put a very high priority on having a relationship and having children, while single people were least likely to say a relationship and having children were was crucial to their well-being. The findings supported the notion that the relative importance of various values is associated with the likelihood of forming different kinds of unions or of remaining single.

Keywords:   People’s Priorities, People’s Values, Determinants of Family Formation

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