Volume 22 - Article 33 | Pages 1037-1056
Health and socio-demographic conditions as determinants of marriage and social mobility: Male partner choice in Sardinia, late 19th-early 20th century
|Date received:||16 Sep 2009|
|Date published:||08 Jun 2010|
|Keywords:||health, marriage, Sardinia, social mobility|
|Weblink:||You will find all publications in this Special Collection “Social Mobility and Demographic Behaviour: A Long-Term Perspective” at http://www.demographic-research.org/special/10/|
This paper makes use of data collected from military registers and marriage certificates for the population of Alghero, in Sardinia, for the period 1866-1925, with the aim of investigating the role played by physical characteristics and health in the possibility of social mobility through marriage.
Our findings demonstrate that, whereas physical defects and ill health had little impact on the chances of marrying an illiterate woman, these factors did have a negative effect on the chances of marrying a woman who was literate. In a context in which intergenerational social mobility remained limited and the family had the final say on marriage arrangements, it is likely that only healthy individuals were selected for marriages regarded as strategic for the purposes of forming and strengthening family alliances, and/or improving the social position within the community.
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