Publication search

Display more fields
Population 2019, n° 1-2
/fichier/s_rubrique/29225/pope_1901_picto_400px.jpg

Population 2019, n° 1-2

2019

Introduction

Wilfried Rault, Arnaud Régnier-Loilier

Studying Individual and Conjugal Trajectories in France: Scientific and Methodological Choices in the EPIC Survey

Wilfried Rault, Arnaud Régnier-Loilier

From tradition to personalization: Changing marriage norms in France since the 1960s

Florence Maillochon

New Partner, New Living Arrangements? The Process of Repartnering After Separation

Arnaud Régnier-Loilier

Uncoupled: Experiences Of Singlehood In Contemporary France

Marie Bergström, Françoise Courtel, Géraldine Vivier

Once Homogamous, Always Homogamous? Educational Level and Career Similarity of Couples in France Who Meet at School

Milan Bouchet-Valat, Sébastien Grobon

Some Features of Second Cohabiting Relationships

Vianney Costemalle

Homosexuality and Bisexuality: Contributions of the EPIC Survey of Individual and Conjugal Trajectories

Wilfried Rault, Camille Lambert

Studying Individual and Conjugal Trajectories in France: Scientific and Methodological Choices in the EPIC Survey

Wilfried Rault, Arnaud Régnier-Loilier
Why should we perform a new survey on couple formation in France at the beginning of the 21st century? And how should it be conducted? This article presents the foundations of the EPIC survey on individual and conjugal trajectories (Étude des parcours individuels et conjugaux, INED–INSEE, 2013–2014), which is the third major French survey on couple formation following one on the choice of a spouse (Le choix du conjoint, 1959) and another on couple formation (La formation des couples, 1983–1984). It was designed to fulfil several objectives: capture the diverse forms of conjugality in light of renewed definitions of what constitutes a couple; characterize individual and conjugal trajectories through a retrospective approach; study the factors associated
with not having a partner; and shed light on separation as a process. The survey also explored phenomena that have arisen in the last three decades: the creation of the PACS (civil union), the recognition of same-sex unions, and the rise of online dating. The article then presents the making of the survey, from methodological choices (coverage, sample sizes, and administration) to the practical aspects of data collection in the field (number of interviewers, participation rate, and representativeness).

From tradition to personalization: Changing marriage norms in France since the 1960s

Florence Maillochon
Marriage in France has evolved considerably since the 1960s. To what extent have the observed changes affected the way in which weddings are celebrated? The Couple Formation survey (FC, INED, 1983–1984) showed that rituals became simpler between the 1960s and the 1980s. Thirty years on, the EPIC survey of individual and conjugal trajectories (Étude des parcours individuels et conjugaux, INED–INSEE, 2013–2014) provides update. While the traditions surrounding the marriage institution (religious ceremony, betrothal, etc.) have weakened, those governing the visible trappings of the wedding celebration (wedding dress, large wedding party, etc.) are still very much alive. At the same time, new prenuptial ‘traditions’ have been imported or invented (marriage proposal, bachelor/bachelorette parties) and are rapidly becoming institutionalized. In an individualistic society where each wedding must have its own personal touch, certain social rules nonetheless remain in force. The norm of lavish display is widely respected, even for couples with children and for second marriages, formerly more discreet. The decline in marriage and the development of new forms of conjugality have brought an end to the traditional couple but not to traditional rituals – quite the contrary. Contemporary wedding ceremonies remain a powerful reminder of the gender order.

New Partner, New Living Arrangements? The Process of Repartnering After Separation

Arnaud Régnier-Loilier
Conjugality in France has seen a number of changes over recent decades. First, we are witnessing diversified forms of unions beyond the “standard” norm of marriage, such as cohabitation outside marriage, PACS (civil union), and non-cohabiting relationships. Second, intimate relationship trajectories are increasingly marked by discontinuity, with separations and repartnering occurring more frequently. Based on these observations, this article explores the present diversification and discontinuity by looking at the link between past conjugal history and the form taken by the subsequent union, i.e. whether cohabiting or not. Most studies on repartnering approach the subject solely through the prism of living together while overlooking non-cohabiting relationships as a separate form of union, thus shedding no light on the repartnering process, which may take varying amounts of time that depend on the characteristics of the previous union. Using data from the French survey on individual and conjugal trajectories known as EPIC (Étude des parcours individuels et conjugaux, INED–INSEE, 2013–2014), we trace the conjugal histories of the respondents by distinguishing between periods of  noncohabitation and cohabitation. Using survival functions and duration models, certain impediments to moving in together are identified—some of which are particularly prominent for women, such as the presence of dependent children, having been married, and having experienced a highly conflictive separation. Increased age at the time of repartnering also reduces the probability of living together.

Uncoupled: Experiences Of Singlehood In Contemporary France

Marie Bergström, Françoise Courtel, Géraldine Vivier
Since the 1970s, the age at first partnership has risen, and separations have become more common. Both men’s and women’s lives are increasingly punctuated by partnerless periods, first in early adulthood and also later in their relationship histories. In this article, taking an event-history approach and looking at subjective experiences of singlehood, we show that it varies according to age, sex, and social background. Life without a partner seems most burdensome for people in their early 30s, while low-income women say they gain a muchappreciated independence despite their material difficulties. This diversity apart, conjugality rates are high, lifelong singlehood is rare, and couplehood is a powerful social norm that puts great pressure on men and
women alike. A cross-analysis of quantitative and qualitative material from the EPIC study of individual and conjugal trajectories (Étude des parcours individuels et conjugaux, INED–INSEE, 2013–2014, France), shows that while separations are more common and forms of couplehood more varied, the social norm of being in a couple has strengthened rather than weakened over time.

Once Homogamous, Always Homogamous? Educational Level and Career Similarity of Couples in France Who Meet at School

Milan Bouchet-Valat, Sébastien Grobon
Drawing on data from the EPIC study of individual and conjugal trajectories (Étude des parcours individuels et conjugaux, INED–INSEE, 2013–2014, France), this article analyses the context in which couples met, the level of education they reached, and their subsequent careers. It calls into question the claim that longer education bolsters partners’ educational and socioeconomic similarity and exacerbates intercouple inequality in the population at large. The proportion of couples who meet in an educational context has risen across birth cohorts. However, for relationships that were in progress at the time of the survey, separations and repartnering greatly attenuate the impact of this increase. As expected, partners who met at school show very similar
educational levels. But while educational homogamy works in favour of occupational status homogamy at both the time the relationship started as well as at the time of the survey, that tie is quite weak. Having met at school only slightly affects the difference between partners’ occupational positions. Gender inequalities (hypergamy) ultimately appear stronger than homogamy: it is in couples where the woman’s level of education is higher than the man’s that the occupational gap in the man’s favour is smallest.

Some Features of Second Cohabiting Relationships

Vianney Costemalle
Conjugal and family trajectories have become more diverse since the early 1950s, partly due to increases in divorce and separation. Yet, few studies have focused specifically on second cohabiting relationships. This short paper uses data from the EPIC survey on individual and conjugal trajectories in metropolitan France (Etude des parcours individuels et conjugaux, INED–INSEE, 2013–2014) to identify some of the main features of second couples. We do so by analysing the differences between the first and second partners’ characteristics and the stability of second unions, particularly as they relate to the respondents’ and their second partners’ family pasts. Usually, a respondent’s second partner is younger than their first, belongs to a different social
category than the first, and has, like the respondent, already been in a union. Moreover, when both respondent and second partner have already had children separately, the risk of separation is greater, and the couple is less likely to have their own children.

Homosexuality and Bisexuality: Contributions of the EPIC Survey of Individual and Conjugal Trajectories

Wilfried Rault, Camille Lambert
This article examines the extent to which the reported frequency of being in a same-sex couple and having same-sex sexual partners changed between 2005 (the date of the last major survey on sexual behaviour in France) and 2014. Data from the EPIC survey on individual and conjugal trajectories (Étude des parcours individuels et conjugaux, INED–INSEE, 2013–2014) confirm that the frequency of such reports is increasing, in accordance with observations in other countries. More men than women report being in a same-sex couple. However, more women than men now report having had a same-sex sexual partner. Despite a context that is seemingly less hostile to homosexuality, notably due to its official recognition through same-sex marriage, reporting of homo-/bisexuality continues to be linked to a certain level of social resources. The trajectories of homo-/bisexual individuals are heterogeneous, and, on average, their characteristics are distinct from those of heterosexual people, reflecting a different relationship to sexuality and conjugality.