A Diploma and Children; Having Both: A Case Study

  • Duška Knežević Hočevar Senior Scientific Fellow at the Sociomedical Institute SRC SASA
Keywords: fertility, university-educated, Slovenia, qualitative approach


In her essay, the author discusses the wider context of reproductive decisions in the university educated in Slovenia. Given that the lowest fertility rates on the national level have been recorded among them, those couples whose educational levels are university graduate or higher, and whose families are statistically above-average, with two or more children are of interest to the arguments offered. By comparing two generations of each selected family, the author sought to identify the differentia specifica between these people’s wider context of reproductive decisions before and after the generally-evidenced trend of below-replacement fertility in Slovenia. These contexts, therefore, go back into socialism times, and extend into post-socialism. Outlined and highlighted are those accents in the studies of the education-fertility relationship that determine both the topic and methodology employed in the research. A ‘bottom-up’ explanation of the background of ‘non-typical’ couples’ reproductive decisions could prove conducive to better understanding of complex fertility behaviour. Presenting the life histories of the collocutors, the author sought to determine which life events or circumstances are formative for the university- educated couples’ decisions to have both their degrees and several children, and how these events and circumstances interrelate.