GLOBALIZATION AND THE GEORGIAN FAMILY
Keywords:globalization, family, marriage, divorce, transnational family
The process of globalization has picked up its pace in the last period and it affects every sphere of societal life. It brings about the new epoch in the human civilization. The history of the establishment and development of the family runs parallel to the history of the development of humankind. Therefore, it is of utmost urgency and importance to study the impact of globalization on the institute of family. The presented work touches upon the immensely urgent issue for modernity - the impact of globalization on the Georgian family. The aim of the article is to delineate those positive and negative changes that occurred within the Georgian family as a result of globalization. This is one of the first attempts to demonstrate the basic characteristics of the modern Georgian family. In order to display the issue clearly, the authors have employed the data of the Georgian statistical service as well as that of the European Union and made a comparative analysis. The researchers have also used the results of the sociological survey conducted with their direct participation during 2013-2015. The main discoveries, which have been obtained by the researchers in this work, are connected with the various types of changes that came to pass in the family. Since the turn of the new century, tolerant attitude toward sexual freedom has been established in Georgia. The beginning of sexual life is no longer associated with the creation of the family. Consequently, the marriage age has increased and the youth are in no hurry to create the family. The postponement of marriage has dialed back the birth of the first child in ages above 30 and, thus, the start of the late parenthood. During 2000-2018, from among the total number of children born by the women of all age group, the share of the children born to only the women within the age group of 30-40 went up from 20.8 % to 33.6 %, i.e. increased 1.6 times. The 1.4 times increase in the fertility rate among the women aged above 40 during the last 18-year period is unprecedented. Religious or legal marriage is no longer necessary to start the family, couples cohabit without it. The increase in the number of cohabiting couples, in its turn, has boosted the number of out-of-wedlock births. It was only two decades ago that such a thing was totally unacceptable in our society. Globalization opened the door wide to international migration. The globalization has brought with it “transnational families”, which were unusual for Georgian society. The man was traditionally considered to be the breadwinner in the Georgian family, however, this did not preclude the woman from working and earning income. It was a given that the woman’s labor was not necessary to retain the living standard of the family. Since the last years of the previous century, because of the fundamental transformations the country was undergoing, the income of the women became not only necessary for the family, but also of life and death importance. The high level of unemployment within the country gave rise to the large number of “transnational mothers”. The Georgian researchers established that the share of the money transfers executed by the Georgian women in emigration is more than half of the total transfers. The instances of family violence are characteristic of Georgian society, like for the majority of societies. It was considered that the facts of domestic violence must not leave the confines of the family. Globalization, additionally, changed the attitude of our society toward this harmful malaise. The victims of violence no longer hide the facts, as a result the exposure of as well as reaction to these instances has increased. Since 2015, the exposure rate of the facts of family violence has grown nearly by 50 %. Superficial attitude of the youth toward marriage has significantly increased the number of divorces. Traditionally, divorce was condemned in Georgia. However, today it is tolerated. In the XXI century, the highest crude divorce rate in Georgia (in 2019 – 3 ‰) lags by only one-tenth behind the highest rate encountered in the EU countries such as: Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg (3.1 ‰ divorce per 1000 persons). The mean duration of marriage is 10.6 years in Georgia, and it is shorter than that of Great Britain (11 years), Italy (17 years) and France (13), however, it exceeds that of the USA (8 years).
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