Elin Naurin: Life events and adult political socialization. The case of how pregnancy changes engagement with politics

Picture of Elin Naurin
Photo: Marcus Marcetic, for the Wallenberg Foundations

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Elin Naurin (University of Gothenburg) will give a talk on "Life events and adult political socialization. The case of how pregnancy changes engagement with politics".

Abstract: This talk focuses on fundamental processes behind adult political socialization. More specifically, the role of early parenthood for political attentiveness will be discussed.  Elin Naurin is the head of the recently started Gothenburg Research Program on Pregnancy and Politics and she will give a unique first insight into project results focusing, among other things, on the effects of pregnancy on political attentiveness and political participation. It is widely believed that pregnancy and birth-giving are life-changing experiences for most women and their partners. Still, there are few systematic studies of how pregnancy and childbirth matter to the individual’s political development. Data comes from the Swedish Citizen panel  of LORE (N=60,000) where respondents who eventually become pregnant (and partners of pregnant women) are followed until a year after childbirth. Results show that pregnancy and birth-giving demobilize women to pay less attention to political information and to express lower interest in politics in general. This phenomenon lasts at least until the baby is 12 months of age, and it is not observed in male partners of pregnant women, suggesting a significant – and previously unproven – political consequence of pregnancy. Results are important as they highlight understudied biological and psychological mechanisms behind the well-known gender gap in political knowledge and efficacy. In addition, the implication is that pregnancy in itself ­­– and not only parenthood – entails a political process for the individual and should be studied as such. The talk will also include recent results on how pregnancy and early parenthood change emotions as well as policy opinions and Naurin will describe her more recent ongoing panel survey, the PregDem, where she collaborates with obstetricians and midwives to recruit couples at an ultrasound clinic in Gothenburg and connect survey answers to medical variables.

You can read more about the research project here.


Lunch is served at first come, first served basis.