Underlying Diversity of the First Marriage Process in China—An Application of the Hernes Model

Jianlin Niu, University of Western Ontario

Marriage in the Chinese population has long been portrayed as distinctively early and universal. This impression has actually hampered the process of marriage research in China. Although the traditional marriage pattern has rarely been questioned, there is some evidence that the marriage pattern of modern China significantly distinguishes from the traditional portrayal. In this study, I apply the Hernes diffusion model to examine the underlying diversity in the first marriage process in China nowadays. The major objective is to investigate and compare the processes of entry into first marriage for different cohorts, among the population with different socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. It is expected to increase our knowledge about the changing tendency of the marriage process across successive cohorts and the patterns for various subpopulations. In addition, I also attempt to assess the applicability of the Hernes model in the Chinese population.

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Presented in Session 159: Social Change and Union Formation: Cross-National Perspectives