Who Marries Whom?: Educational Systems as Marriage Markets in Modern Societies

Who Marries Whom?: Educational Systems as Marriage Markets in Modern Societies

by Hans-Peter Blossfeld
     
 

This is the first cross-national study of the educational system as an increasingly important marriage market. Educational expansion and the rising educational participation of women have increased the rate of "assortative meeting" and "assortative mating" across birth cohorts. The book shows that social inequality is growing because increasingly better (and worse)

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Overview

This is the first cross-national study of the educational system as an increasingly important marriage market. Educational expansion and the rising educational participation of women have increased the rate of "assortative meeting" and "assortative mating" across birth cohorts. The book shows that social inequality is growing because increasingly better (and worse) educated single men and women pool their economic and cultural advantages (and disadvantages) within couples. It demonstrates that there has been an increasing closure of social structure and social networks as an unintended consequence of educational expansion. The book is theoretically driven and combines demographic and sociological approaches with rational choice theory to explain assortative mating. Using life-history data from a broad range of industrialized countries and longitudinal statistical models, the book analyzes the process of spouse selection in the life courses of single men and women. The countries included vary widely in important characteristics such as demographic behavior and institutional characteristics. The life course approach explicitly recognizes the dynamic nature of partner decisions, the importance of educational roles and institutional circumstances as young men and women move through their life paths, and the accumulation of advantages and disadvantages experienced by individuals. Who Marries Whom is of interest to sociologists, demographers, economists and students of social structure, social inequality, social and demographic change.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
From the reviews:
"The consequences of educational equality and inequality in marriage have so far never been studied. This book breaks new ground, showing that rising levels of homogamy entail increasing inequality between households in modern societies. This landmark study will stimulate a new stream of research on the social and economic impact of educational (in)equality in marriage."
(Catherine Hakim, London School of Economics)
"The rising enrollment in higher education, especially of women, has not only led to a postponement of marriage but also increased the importance of the educational system as a place to meet and find a (marriage) partner. Since education is the most influential factor for peoples' later job careers and income attainment, increasing rates of educational assortative mating leads to a wider spread in households' income distribution. For the first time, this book studies the long-term process of assortative mating over the life course for thirteen modern industrialized countries, beginning from a pool of eligibles up to the point where they marry a partner of equal, higher or lower educational status.With increasing duration in school, the rate of homogenous marriages rises, and after the transition from school to work more heterogonous environments account for the fact of less homogeneity in later marriages. The book also shows that social origin matters especially for women: In most countries educationally upward mobile women are very likely to marry downward. The changing role of the educational system as a marriage market in the course of educational expansion and women's changing economic roles in the labor market and the family are the main driving forces behind this development. Using event history methods, the book compares the processes of assortative mating in the various European societies, in Israel and the USA, and points out communalities and differences in the mechanisms."
(Wolfgang Teckenberg, University of Heidelberg )

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402018039
Publisher:
Springer Netherlands
Publication date:
12/31/2003
Series:
European Studies of Population Series, #12
Edition description:
Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2003
Pages:
342
Product dimensions:
0.75(w) x 9.21(h) x 6.14(d)

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