Group differences in economic opportunity and the timing of marriage: blacks and whites in the rural South, 1910

Nancy Susan Landale, S. E. Tolnay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

A central thesis in studies of nuptiality is that marriage behavior is strongly influenced by economic conditions because they affect the ease with which independent households can be established by young couples. We contend that a society's stratification system should be included in this general framework. An examination of the timing of marriage among white and black residents of the rural South in 1910 strongly supports our hypotheses. Whites delayed marriage in areas where farmland was expensive and manufacturing employment was available. Farm tenancy clearly facilitated early marriage among blacks, while the price of land and availability of manufacturing opportunities had no effect on the timing of marriage. The central tenets of the opportunity thesis of nuptiality are supported, but we emphasize a need to move beyond consideration of the simple availability of economic opportunities to recognize the additional role of their distribution within society. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-45
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican sociological review
Volume56
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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