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Marriage of matching doors: Marital sorting on parental background in China

Hu, Yang (2016) 'Marriage of matching doors: Marital sorting on parental background in China.' Demographic Research, 35. pp. 557-580. ISSN 1435-9871

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BACKGROUND “Who marries whom” has important implications for the (re-)production of social inequalities. Whereas researchers have mostly focused on the husbands’ and wives’ traits in the study of marital sorting, this research assesses the importance of parental background in marital sorting in contemporary China in light of the tradition of “marriage of matching doors”. METHODS Drawing on data from the 2006 China General Social Survey, log-linear models are utilized to explore the extent to which couples sort on parents’ occupational status and hukou (household registration), and the interaction between the two. RESULTS The results show a significant association in occupational status between one’s father and spouse, net of the intergenerational mobility between parents and children and the assortative mating between the husband and wife. Furthermore, there is a significant net association in occupational status between one’s father and father-in-law. Parents’ hukou also plays a pivotal role in marital sorting in that one’s father and father-in-law tend to have the same rural or urban hukou. Nevertheless, the interaction between fathers’ occupational status and hukou is not found to play a significant role in shaping the pattern of marital sorting. CONCLUSIONS Given the persisting tradition of “marriage of matching doors”, it is important to conceptualize marriage as a family affair rather than a “de-institutionalized”, “privatized” and “individualized” practice in contemporary China.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2016 15:06
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2022 00:33

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