Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Marital Decline in the Asian North of Russia and Generational Transition of Family Values

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Marital Decline in the Asian North of Russia and Generational Transition of Family Values

Article excerpt

Abstract

The article discusses some questions of marital behavior of the population in the Asian North of the Russian Federation with the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) as an example. This region is scarcely populated, yet it is the largest in the country by the occupied territory. The analysis of marital behavior revealed that on the background of some decrease in the number of marriages in the 1990s and marriage market decline, the number of divorces was growing. The attitude of the population towards the main circumstances of organizing one's private life in a marriage is shown on the materials of a sociological and demographic survey. The authors reveal the differences in the views of representatives of different generations on marriage, its forms, marriage union basic principles, causes of conflicts in a marriage and divorces. Regardless of the marital status or presence of children, there is general agreement between the respondents that a conflict situation in a marriage is caused by a complex of reasons, the impact of which, in many cases, takes the form of a chain reaction. One central problem gives birth to a chain of discord that eventually shows the vulnerability of existing relations. The authors conclude that emergence and impact of conflictogenic factors on marital stability are the result of change of the place of marriage in the hierarchy of an individual's life values in terms of modernization of demographic behavior as a whole.

Keywords: marital behavior, marriage, divorce, conflict, population survey, focused interview, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)

1. Introduction

The transformation processes in the political and economic arrangement and social system of Russia brought the problems of population's marital behavior into a new spotlight. The complexity of marital behavior analysis stems from its nature; this behavior is biosocial and accumulates, as such, all possible forms of relations between a man and a woman, relations of a married couple with the society, as well as mutual influence between the family and the state. It is precisely in the family and marriage that continuation of generations takes place, and this is what determines their significance for the society (Panteleeva, 1994; Volkov & Matskovsky, 1994).

A stable marriage guarantees a higher level of mutual understanding between the spouses; the spouses generally tend to see each other as mutually complementing personalities, a source of enrichment and balance of their family world, not as rivals in the struggle for power. Therefore, stable marriages and families are a more advanced type of a primary social organization (Gukova, 1997). However, some circumstances destabilizing the marriage union emerge at various stages of a family life cycle.

By the present time the family structure of the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic population combines the features of a modern (European) and a traditional (patriarchal) models of families (Barashkova, 2009). Around 90% of the population live in the families of one or another quantitative and qualitative composition (The Number and Composition of Households in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), 2013).

Continuation of generations is the most important function that belongs exclusively to the family. However, in the age of industrialization, an individual's striving for procreation has not biological, social nature (Zvereva, Veselkova, & Elizarov, 2004), changing in time in accordance with the main life goals of the spouses, but not of the woman only. Limitation of the number of children in families is also determined by unstable marital relations, threat of a marital dissolution, and by divorce itself, which is regarded as a major destructive factor of the family demographic development. The scope of this article does not include such stress factors of a family life as disease, or death of some family members; worries related to a housing problem resolution; issues of unemployment and finding a job; concerns of family members addressing credit institutions, etc. …

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