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Reproductive Sociology Research Group


Dr Yuliya Hilevych is working on the study of reproduction, social relations, and public policy across time and space. Yuliya’s PhD dissertation (2016) was an ethnography of the post-war fertility decline in Soviet Ukraine and it focused on the role of family and social relations in reproductive decision-making. Her subsequent projects examined reproductive politics and practices in a comparative perspective of Western and Eastern Europe since the post-war decades.

As of January 2018, Yuliya holds a two-year Newton International Fellowship (British Academy) at the Faculty of History in the University of Cambridge.
In her current project “The ART of Conception Before Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Infertility Identities in Britain, 1950-1980”, Yuliya studies the emergence of alternatives to (biological) parenting before the invention of IVF (1978) in Britain. She is especially interested in how individual experiences of infertility have challenged the provision of infertility advice and treatments, with the primary focus being on the emergence of infertility counselling and grassroots activism.


Key publications: 

Books and Special Issues

Hilevych, Y. (2016) ‘Strong Families and Declining Fertility: a Comparative Study of Family Relations and Reproductive Careers in Soviet Ukraine’, Wageningen University, 191 p. ISBN 978-94-6257- 938-5 (Open Access)

Hilevych, Y., and MacNamara, T. (Eds.). (2015) ‘Qualitative approaches to demographic questions’. Special issue in: The History of the Family 20 (1). Including the Introduction: MacNamara, T., and Hilevych, Y., ‘ Living in the demos: qualitative approaches to demographic questions’, The History of the Family 20 (1), p.1-8 (Open Access)

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Hilevych Y, and Rusterholz C., (2018)“‘Two children to make ends meet”’: the ideal family size, parental responsibilities and costs of children on two sides of the Iron Curtain during the post- war fertility decline’, The History of the Family 23 (3), p.408-425 (Open Access)

Hilevych Y. ‘Later, if ever: Family influences on transition from first to second birth in Soviet Ukraine’, Continuity & Change (2016) 31(2), p. 275-300

Hilevych, Y., ‘Abortion and gender relationships in Ukraine, 1955–1970’, The History of the Family (2015) 20 (1), p. 86-105

Book chapters

Hilevych Y., and Sato C., (2018) ‘Popular medical discourses on birth control in the Soviet Union dur- ing the Cold War: Shifting responsibilities and relational values’. In: Ann-Katrin Gembries, Theresia Theuke and Isabel Heinemann (Eds.), Children by Choice? Changing Values, Reproduc- tion, and Family Planning in the 20th Century, (De Gruyter: Berlin, Boston),p. 99-122

Hilevych Y., (2018) Generations and contexts in the study of continuity and change. The example of fertility declines. In Paul Puschmann & Tim Riswick (Eds.), Building Bridges. Scholars, His- tory and Historical Demography. A Festschrift in Honor of Professor Theo Engelen ( Nijmegen: Valkhof Pers), p.476-490 (Open Access)

Policy reports

Boomen van den N., Dane J., Hilevych Y., Hoedemaeckers J., Walhout E., Kok, J., (2017) Hostages of time. Policy, practice and experiences of relinquishment for adoption by unmarried mothers in the Netherlands between 1956 and 1984 (in Dutch with English summary). Scientific report for the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, WODC-Onderzoek 2707. ISBN 978-94-92380-40-1

Dr Yuliya  Hilevych

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