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What If Marriage Doesn't Occur in a Market? Homogamy and College-Educated Black Women's Romantic Decision-Making

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Abstract:

This paper focuses on understanding connections or relationships that exist between individuals’ decision-making in romantic romances and the prevalence of class or education homogamy. Here, the point is to develop a better understanding about how individuals end up in heterosexual romantic relationships in which they share or don’t share the class status of heir partners. In order to develop this better understanding, this paper deviates from the dominant approach of research in this area – an approach which (1) focuses solely on observations of heterosexual marriages and which (2) describes the prevalence of class, occupational status, or educational homogamy among existing marriages. Instead the analyses attempt to discover how particular romantic relationships are begun, developed to the point of monogamous commitment, maintained over time without marriage or monogamous commitment, culminated in marriage, and ended; and they simultaneously asks how these processes are or are not related to class achievement and the formation of class-homogamous marital unions. The use of this thicker data from African American women with college degrees on their romantic relationship processes finds that choices to reject romantic partners of lower status reflect complex evaluations of class and complex meanings attached to class status variables. Because these complex evaluations of class occur in long-term nonmarital relationships, the relationship itself might change (and even improve) the class standing of romantic partners prior to marriage. Homogamy is, in this sense, sometimes “made” rather than chosen.

Most Common Document Word Stems:

class (109), marriag (109), women (71), make (58), relationship (53), educ (45), romant (40), individu (34), decis (34), homogami (34), black (33), status (33), partner (31), work (31), one (31), degre (30), econom (30), men (29), colleg (27), achiev (25), marri (25),

Author's Keywords:

marriage, romantic relationships, education and marriage
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Name: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting
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MLA Citation:

Clarke, Averil. "What If Marriage Doesn't Occur in a Market? Homogamy and College-Educated Black Women's Romantic Decision-Making" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sheraton Boston and the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA, Jul 31, 2008 <Not Available>. 2014-12-01 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p243103_index.html>

APA Citation:

Clarke, A. Y. , 2008-07-31 "What If Marriage Doesn't Occur in a Market? Homogamy and College-Educated Black Women's Romantic Decision-Making" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Sheraton Boston and the Boston Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA Online <PDF>. 2014-12-01 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p243103_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: This paper focuses on understanding connections or relationships that exist between individuals’ decision-making in romantic romances and the prevalence of class or education homogamy. Here, the point is to develop a better understanding about how individuals end up in heterosexual romantic relationships in which they share or don’t share the class status of heir partners. In order to develop this better understanding, this paper deviates from the dominant approach of research in this area – an approach which (1) focuses solely on observations of heterosexual marriages and which (2) describes the prevalence of class, occupational status, or educational homogamy among existing marriages. Instead the analyses attempt to discover how particular romantic relationships are begun, developed to the point of monogamous commitment, maintained over time without marriage or monogamous commitment, culminated in marriage, and ended; and they simultaneously asks how these processes are or are not related to class achievement and the formation of class-homogamous marital unions. The use of this thicker data from African American women with college degrees on their romantic relationship processes finds that choices to reject romantic partners of lower status reflect complex evaluations of class and complex meanings attached to class status variables. Because these complex evaluations of class occur in long-term nonmarital relationships, the relationship itself might change (and even improve) the class standing of romantic partners prior to marriage. Homogamy is, in this sense, sometimes “made” rather than chosen.


Similar Titles:
At the Intersection of Marriage and Inequality: College-educated Black Women’s Economic Evaluations of Premarital Romantic Partners

Sin and Satisfaction: Race, Class, and the Sexual Activity of College-Educated Black Women

Making Sense of Race, Identity and Achievement Among Black, Middle Class Students at Two Predominantly White, Elite Colleges


 
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