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Social Change, Community Context, and the Transformation of Marriage Alliance among the Tamang of Nepal

Publication Abstract

Fricke, Tom E., and Arland Thornton. "Social Change, Community Context, and the Transformation of Marriage Alliance among the Tamang of Nepal." PSC Research Report No. 94-308. May 1994.

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 inter-familial labor obligations. Using survey and ethnographic data gathered in Nepal from two communities inhabited by the same ethnic group, this paper examines the implications of change in work, living experiences, and the marriage process for subsequent inter-familial relationships exemplified 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 614 ever-married women in the two settings. Cross-cousin marriage and brideservice are shown to be related to pr ior 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.

Data used: Tamang Family Research Project, 1987-88, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan Center for Nepal and Asian Studies, Tribhuvan University.

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