Vida Česnuitytė


The aim of the article is to describe the strategies of the matrimonial behaviour and it‘s trends in contemporary Lithuania. The central research object is the partnership behaviour. The hypotheses were formulated following P. Bourdieu‘s theories on habitus and capitals. Qualitative analysis of 44 articles from two Lithuanian journals and one daily showed that registered marriage still is the basic family formation strategy in the country. Alternative models of family formation usually are practised in particular situations during the life course and are not internalized as habitus. The most conservative advocates of traditional family model are: (1) communities of villages and small towns, where social control of natural order is applied to a lesser degree only for older people and for people who choose an alternative family model after divorce; (2) the men from the middle and the higher social strata, who most often hold an attitude that registered marriage is indispensable and children have to grow in full families. Initiators and promoters of the new family models are: (1) young people, especially from the middle and the higher social strata who pursue careers outside Lithuania or travel abroad frequently; (2) youth who seek career in Lithuania; (3) women from the higher social strata whose matrimonial behaviour is dictated not so much by their own choice but rather by subconscious rationality, which arises from the intersection of demographic-social asymmetry in the society and internalized traditional value sets, as well as the remaining strict social control.