Assortative mating by occupational status during early industrialization

R.L. Zijdeman, I. Maas

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According to the logic of industrialism thesis during industrialization, the influence of, achieved characteristics on mate selection increased, while the influence of ascribed, characteristics decreased. Other processes that accompanied industrialization, such as, the development of mass communication, urbanization, increasing regional mobility, modern transport, and educational expansion, were hypothesized to break down, cultural differences and cause a decline of status based mate selection. This study, provides a first direct test of these hypotheses by analyzing a large dataset on, marriages in the Dutch province Zeeland between 1811 and 1915, a period before and, during industrialization. Industrialization and the other afore mentioned processes, were measured at the local level in each year of marriage, to take both local and, temporal variation into account. Using multilevel analyses it is shown that (1) the, influence of ascribed and achieved characteristics on status of the spouse differed, considerably between municipalities and changed over time, (2) the influence of, ascribed characteristics decreased, while the influence of achieved characteristics, remained unchanged, (3) the logic of industrialism thesis is supported, while, processes accompanying industrialization are less systematically related to changes in, ascription and achievement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-415
Number of pages21
JournalResearch in Social Stratification and Mobility
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Sociaal-culturele Wetenschappen (SOWE)


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