Handbook on the Family and Marriage in China
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Handbook on the Family and Marriage in China

Edited by Xiaowei Zang and Lucy X. Zhao

This Handbook advances research on the family and marriage in China by providing readers with a multidisciplinary and multifaceted coverage of major issues in one single volume. It addresses the major conceptual, theoretical and methodological issues of marriage and family in China and offers critical reflections on both the history and likely progression of the field.
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Chapter 7: Educational homogamy

Lijun Song, Rachel Skaggs and Cleothia Frazier

Abstract

Chapter 7 examines patterns of education homogamy in China, which refers to people’s tendency to marry those with similar educational attainment. It is a crucial determinant of the distribution of various resources (social, economic, and cultural capital) and serves as a key mate selection criterion. It summarizes seven hypotheses can predict an increasing trend: educational homogenization, status attainment, educational legitimacy, economic inequality, promoted sameness, female economic attractiveness, and gender inequality. In contemporary China, the rapid educational expansion and the rising return to education may lead support to three hypotheses: educational homogenization, status attainment, and educational legitimacy. The increasing economic distances require attention to the economic inequality hypothesis. Additionally, gender-related social factors play a role in spousal resemblance on education. The increasing gender segregation in occupations and earning differentiation calls for research on the gender inequality hypothesis. Finally, attention to the rural_urban divide is required in the study of educational homogamy partly because of differences in the population structure and marriage patterns.

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