Awareness of family life by young couples. An analysis of three waves of interviews from the perspective of the relational sociology (supported by Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University and The Active Tradition Foundation)

PROJECT: Awareness of family life by young couples. An analysis of three waves of interviews from the perspective of the relational sociology (supported by Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University and The Active Tradition Foundation)

FUNDING: The project was supported by Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox University and The Active Tradition Foundation in 2024-2025

DURATION OF THE PROJECT: 2024 – 2025

PROJECT COORDINATOR: Ivan Pavlyutkin

RESEARCH TEAM: Mariia Goleva, Dmitry MarkovNina Lubinarskaya

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The research project focuses on the development of a theoretical and methodological perspective to explain marital resilience and relational commonality among young spouses via meaningful family transitions. In some countries (and Russia is among them) statistically a rather long reproduction of divorces and a short duration of marriages was fixed. In such conditions, the intellectual possibilities and optics of the mainstream social sciences are limited to the search for the reasons of marriage decline, family crisis and so-called negative relationships, determinants of post-marital and single life. However, they hardly focus on factors and conditions indicating the possibility of a long life together in a one marriage. To develop such a perspective, in addition to approaches in the social sciences that discuss and objectify the categories of Christian ethics, the longitudinal empirical studies of marital life, allowing us to observe relationship dynamics and reflect on important transitions in family life, are needed. Over several years of implementation of the research project “Awareness of family life…”, it’s participants developed methodology (in-depth interview guides) and conducted three waves of interviews with couples who were considered “young spouses” (up to five years of marriage) at the time the study began. Many topics related to marriage and family were discussed during the interviews. Among them were everyday domestic issues of family life and significant family transitions. Some of the transitions were assessed as internal (birth of children, moves, purchase of an apartment, change of residence, place of work or occupation, etc.) and other as external (pandemic, death of close relatives, other crises). The data obtained allow us to describe the different life trajectories of the couples, to analyze the dynamics of marital relations, to identify and describe the key categories that indicate the formation of commonality in relationships. The couples’ attitudes towards religion and involvement in religious practices differ, which also allows us to compare their categories of awareness of living together.

The work of the research team is going to be focused on thematic analysis of the waves of interviews, description and analytical comparison of case studies cases of the couples’ family life, and generalization and formulation of a theoretical perspective to explain the sustainability of marriage.

SEMINARS

Seminar № 1. 12.03.2024
The project team discussed the initial results of the implementation of case study methodology.

Seminar № 2. 02.04.2024
The discussion of the prepared case was continued. Methodological issues were also considered: what should be the structure of the case (for example, by analytical categories or by family life cycle events)?

Seminar № 3. 24.04.2024
The seminar was devoted to a discussion of deacon D. Markov’s draft of an article, prepared as part of the project. First deacon D. Markov made a presentation of his work, and then other members of the research team gave questions and comments. As the resulted, a list of recommendations for further development of the topic was prepared.

Seminar № 4. 15.05.2024
Two versions of analytical cases (by N.Lubinarskaya and M.Goleva) were discussed at the seminar. Their advantages and disadvantages were outlined, and the format for further work on the material was determined.

Seminar № 5. 29.05.2024
The seminar was devoted to a discussion of deacon D. Markov’s research proposal of a dissertation, prepared as part of the project. As the result, a list of recommendations for further development of the text was prepared.