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Understanding Chinese FamiliesA Comparative Study of Taiwan and Southeast China$
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C. Y. Cyrus Chu and Ruoh-Rong Yu

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199578092

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199578092.001.0001

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Marriage Patterns

Marriage Patterns

(p.87) 5 Marriage Patterns
Understanding Chinese Families

C. Y. Cyrus Chu

Ruoh‐Rong Yu

Oxford University Press

Three aspects of Chinese marriages are studied in this chapter: age of marriage, decision sovereignty of the couple, and marriage assortment. Traditionally Chinese married young, with their marriage partners often determined, or at least approved, by their parents. This tradition is found to have changed in recent years, although at a varied pace across different education groups and geographic areas. As far as assortative mating is concerned, the phenomena of education asymmetry (husbands being better educated than wives) and barrier crossing (marriage across educational levels) have become less in evidence in Taiwan, but the changing pattern was not discernible in China. The ethnicity barrier has a decreasing effect on marriage in Taiwan, and the gain from cross‐marrying a “red 5 class” remains low in China.

Keywords:   marriage, marriage assortment, assortative mating, education asymmetry, barrier crossing

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