S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Development and Society Vol.39 No.1/2 (2010)
Temporal Variation in the Strength of Educational Assortative Marriage in Korea : A Birth Cohort Analysis of the 2000 Korea Census
- Lee, Myoung Jin
- Issue Date
- Institute for Social Development and Policy Research, Center for Social Sciences, Seoul National University
- Development and Society, Vol.39 No.1, pp. 163-185
- This paper investigates the trend in assortative marriage with respect to education among a large Korean cohort born in the 1930s to the 1970s. The two-percent sample data from the 2000 Korea Census is used to investigate changes in the association between couples’' educational attainment across different time periods. The primary assumption of this study is that status distance inhibits social association such as friendship and marriage. With increasing difference in status between individuals, the rate of social association among individuals is negatively correlated to status difference. Being one of the most important associations, this would suggest that marriage becomes less frequent with increasing status distance between potential spouses, thus producing assortative marriage with respect to social status. Various types of log-linear models and L2 (likelihood ratio chi-square)-distance measures are used to analyze the temporal change of educational assortative marriage in this paper, and the main findings are as follows. First, with Korea’'s rapid economic growth since the 1960s, earlier birth cohorts show an increase in educational assortative marriage. Korea’'s unique historical experiences appear to heighten the importance of achieved status, such as educational attainment, as a new basis for social hierarchy. Second, educational assortative marriage decreases among later birth cohorts. However, this decrease does not necessarily tend to increase general social openness because new types of status base, such as family background, emerge and gain increased importance in marriage selection in line with increased stability of social stratification.
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