Boertien, Diederik

'Beatriu de Pinós' Research Fellow

CED - Center for Demographic Studies, Spain


Max Weber alumnus

Department of Political and Social Sciences

Cohort(s): 2013/2014

Ph.D. Institution

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain


I submitted my doctoral thesis, ‘Socio-economic resources, relationship dynamics and separation’, in winter 2013 (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Department of Political and Social Sciences, expected to defend in spring 2013). In my thesis I contributed to a greater understanding of socio-economic differences in the risk of divorce and separation.
Current theoretical accounts ascribe a key role to marital satisfaction when explaining socio-economic gradients in divorce risk. In my thesis I proved these predictions to be wrong. Instead, I showed, for Britain, that barriers to divorce determine socio-economic differentials in union dissolution today. While resources were in the past needed to overcome barriers, they now themselves form barriers to divorce. I also showed that theoretical perspectives focusing on the alleviation of financial stress seem to be relatively irrelevant when explaining the correlation between income and separation.
I am also actively producing articles for a research project that looks at the role of normative certainty in a recent reduction in divorce rates, which has been observed for some groups in society.
During my time as a Max Weber Fellow I plan to investigate whether a higher prevalence of short-term decision making among those with fewer resources can explain socio-economic differentials in relationship dynamics. In addition, I plan to research the determinants of cross-national variation in the barriers to divorce and the dissolution of couples who followed a relatively satisfied marital trajectory.
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