An Ethnographic Exploration of Son Preference and Inheritance Practices in Montenegro

Diāna Kiščenko (Coresponding Author)

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Montenegro is one of the 10 countries in the world with the most imbalanced sex ratio at birth, pointing to the existence of son preference in Montenegrin society. While, over the last decade, international and local organizations have raised awareness of this issue, empirical studies about this phenomenon in Montenegro are scarce. The author conducts an ethnographic exploration into women’s experience of son preference in central Montenegro by presenting their personal and intimate perspective. The resulting paper suggests that son preference is shaped by and manifests through the inheritance practice of property being passed on to the male heir. Through her analysis, the author demonstrates how ideas about gender roles, family planning, housing and inheritance strategies swing back and forth between ‘traditional’ and ‘modern,’ ‘backward’ and ‘progressive.’
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-88
JournalComparative Southeast European Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • son preference
  • sex-selective abortion
  • inheritance
  • Montenegro
  • ethnography

Field of Science*

  • 5.8 Media and Communication

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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