65° - 01.09.1967, Blaðsíða 24

65° - 01.09.1967, Blaðsíða 24
children?” or “Why did you beget children?” caused some astonishment, but such question as, “What is happiness?” were baffling to most. Since the interview took about two hours, means had to be found to hold the respondent’s attention. This was done by having many of the questions humerous, and by arranging them so that a non-committant question followed a very- personal one. Also, questions were arranged so that the respondent would not get any hints from the previous as to his respective answers. This arrangement, plus the newness of social research in Iceland accounted for most respondents’ reply- ing, “It was very enjoyable,” and “If you ever do another research in Iceland, you know where to call.”* It would not be realistic or possible to evaluate the results of this survey at this time; neverthe- less, some trends have already appeared, and the ones that seem most interesting and astonishing will be briefly mentioned. It must be stressed, however, that these are only hypotheses with no scientific support; the results obtained after these questionnaires have been evaluated may emphasize other trends. Hypothesis 1. Reykjavikans do not want to live close to their kin, absolutely not in the same house, since they feel that the presence of their kin will limit their growth ond independence. They feel that “a fjord should separate kinfolk” so that fondness can develop between them. Sur- prisingly, however, many of the respondents actually lived close to their kin, even in the same house. 2. Reykjavikans tend to interact more with their maternal kin although that is not the rule. There is no apparent sociological reason for this, although one might argue the point psycho- logically. 3. The rule that “no one is to eat before father sits down” is rapidly vanishing, and perhaps implies that the respect for the Icelandic man’s status is disappearing. 4. Parents take a great interest in their child- ren’s education, but they don’t discuss it much with them. They also feel that their children should completely determine their own education. 5. Most Reykjavikans very seldom if ever dis- cuss with their mates the number of children they are going to beget. *E<1. note: The researcher’s engaging personality, sin- cerity and selflessness must also receive credit for the success of his interviews. 6. Most Reykjavikans were not “planned”. The majority of them “just happened to be born”, whereas a large number were pure mischance. 7. The length of time of breast feeding has diminished greatly. Interestingly enough, the nursing time does not appear to have shortened from sociological reasons (as in many other west- ern socities), but from physiological reasons (lack of maternal milk), which might imply that tensions and worries have increased vastly. 8. Reykjavikans over age 30 became engaged as a result of infatuation or love, whereas those under 30 became engaged because a) it is fashion- able, and b) the other partner was infatuated. 9. Reykjavikans got married for the following reasons, and in that order: a) to have their own home, b) to beget children, c) pregnancy, d) status symbol, 5) infatuation or love for mate. 10. The time of marriage is determined by a) a place of their own to live in b) the first child’s baptism c) if the future couple live with either’s parents and there is a younger brother or sister who wants to have his or her fiance move in, the parents “pressure” the couple to get out, as the time has come for the younger ones to get better acquainted and cohabit where the future couple now live. 11. Reykjavikans love children, want to do everything for them and give them anything but time. This factor may account for a) the super- individualistic ego-orientation of Icelandic society, and b) the extreme materialism of Icelandic society. 12. Reykjavikans who remain unmarried their whole lives or most of their lives and do not co- habit with the other sex usually have some sib- lings that also remain unmarried. There is also a direct relation between length of nursing and marriage, i.e. those that remain unmarried usual- ly have been nursed longer than 18 months. 13. Those who remain single are often the old- est or the youngest in the family. If the father dies when the children were young, the oldest took care of the family, but the youngest child tended to remain with the mother in her old age. 14. The family size in Iceland has decreased greatly in the last 25 years, not only because of the use and knowledge of contraceptives, but be- cause people don’t want to be tied down their whole lives by children. 15. Reykjavikans above 20 usually have not been told about sex by their parents, but the younger generation is sure it will tell its children. 22 65



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