Social Homogamy in the Canton of Luzern (Switzerland)

Seiler, Simon (2 April 2016). Social Homogamy in the Canton of Luzern (Switzerland) (Unpublished). In: European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC). Valenzia, Spanien. 30.03.-02.04.2016.

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Social homogamy is an essential aspect of the reproduction of social structures and an important pathway for the effect of social origin on the social standing of a person’s family. This is especially true women in societies that define women’s social position almost exclusively via her husband’s position. This paper investigates social homogamy in the context of the rural but industrializing Canton of Luzern (Switzerland) in the middle of the 19th century (1834-75). Research on social homogamy in the pre-survey era relies on sources that include information on both parents’ social status of a couple. Unlike other countries, such sources are rare in Switzerland but the process of local state building in the canton of Luzern led to a temporary exception: Marriage registers for the period 1834-75 were maintained by means of preprinted tables that required the priest of a parish to name the occupation of the bridal couple and the bride’s as well as the groom’s father. This paper makes use of a newly collected random sample of the entries of this register (N=1941) which allows to study differences of social homogamy by type of the parish (no industry, some industry, city of Luzern) and two birth cohorts (1834-54 and 1855-75). Using multilevel models, and as far as data allow, aspects of Kalmijn’s tripartite clusters of determinants of homogamy are tested. Results indicate that migration, groom’s individual autonomy as well as the presence of a nearby train station weaken and first sector occupations strengthen the association between both fathers’ status which is in line with the theoretical expectations.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Seiler, Simon


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
900 History > 940 History of Europe


[42] Schweizerischer Nationalfonds ; [86] IMG Stiftung Bern


[617] Perspectives on Social Mobility in 19th and 20th Century Switzerland Official URL




Simon Seiler

Date Deposited:

17 Aug 2016 14:08

Last Modified:

17 Aug 2016 14:16




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