Fra to til tre : individualitet og fellesskap i parforhold gjennom overgangen til foreldreskap
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The purpose of this Master’s thesis is to investigate what happens to the couple relationship during the transition to parenthood, paying particular attention to the togetherness and autonomy of the relationships. The study is a qualitative analysis, based on interviews with four couples, which within the last 4,5 years have experienced the transition to parenthood. The subject is illuminated by means of symbolic interactionism, the concept couple practices and theories of Giddens, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim on how the individualization of society affects the couple relationships. The results of the analysis suggest that the couple relationships before they conceive children have many similarities with Giddens' pure relationship. Informants value both togetherness and autonomy, and take both for granted as part of the couple practice before a child is conceived. Through the transition to parenthood, they get a bigger workload and less time. The child is now put first. A consequence is less time for the parents' individual life projects, while the relationship becomes more committed. Being a good partner early in the relationship can be seen as talking or being intimate with each other, while after birth a good partner implies doing housework and care for the child. The intimacy between the partners has changed. With these changes, the theory of pure relationships proves to be less applicable on the couple relationships after the transition to parenthood.