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The Family Contexts of Marriage Timing in Nepal

Publication Abstract

Dahal, Dilli R., Tom E. Fricke, and Arland Thornton. 1993. "The Family Contexts of Marriage Timing in Nepal." Ethnology, 32(4): 305-23.

This study draws upon two traditions of analysis to explore the differential timing of marriage among the women of Timling, a central Himalayan village in Nepal inhabited by the Tamang and Ghale descendants of migrants from Tibet. They explore the family politics of marriage timing in one setting of the Tamang Family Research Project, a microdemographic study of changing life course experience, family relationships, and fertility behavior in two Nepali communities. The project involved ethnographic and survey data collection in 1987-88 and 1991, building on earlier fieldwork in Timling in 1981. While their analysis begins with the anthropological insight that in societies organized by kinship, marriage processes are instrumental to structuring social reproduction, methodologically the authors utilizes quantitative tools of event history analysis commonly used by demographers but rarely by anthropologists. The results confirm the usefulness of applying models of social action concerned with the differential interest of actors to even such prosaic oncerns as the timing of women's marriage.

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