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Netting in Nepal: Social Change, the Life Course, and Brideservice in Sangila

Publication Abstract

Fricke, Tom E., Arland Thornton, and Dilli R. Dahal. 1998. "Netting in Nepal: Social Change, the Life Course, and Brideservice in Sangila." Human Ecology, 26(2): 213-237.

The links among family characteristics, pre-marital experiences organized outside the family, and participation in choice of spouse are now well established for historical transformations in a range of social settings. Less examined are the consequences of these changes for subsequent inter-familial relationships in societies where marriage organizes kin alliances and interfamilial labor obligations. Using survey and ethnographic data gathered in Nepal, this paper examines the implications of change in work, living experiences, and the marriage process for subsequent inter-familial relationships exemplifed by cross-cousin marriage and the provision of brideservice. Hypotheses are developed which consider the impact of community context on these behaviors; these are tested in logistic regression analyses for the first marriages of all 430 ever-married women in the community. Cross-cousin marriage and brideservice are shown to be related to prior familial characteristics, life-course experience, and elements of the marriage process in ways that are significantly conditioned by community history and proximity to urban centers.

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