Een sociologische studie van de huwelijksviering tussen 1946 en 1994


  • Kalmijn,Matthijs




Using a nationally representative survey of married couples in the Netherlands in 1994, I analyze three dimensions of the contemporary western marriage ceremony: (a) whether couples give a wedding party, (b) whether couples have their marriage consecrated in church, and (c) whether couples go away on honeymoon. A comparison of marriage cohorts from 1946 to 1994 shows that a decreasing number of couples marry in church, while an increasing number of couples go away on honeymoon after they got married. Wedding parties show a cyclical pattern: rising popularity since the late 1940s, but declining popularity since the 1970s. These trends are partly consistent with notions of individualism and secularization. Using multivariate analysis, I subsequently examine why couples differ in how they celebrate their marriage. This analysis indicates that traditional values of parents and friends about marriage, as well as church membership go hand in hand with a more elaborate marriage ceremony. These findings point to the importance of marriage ceremonies as a source of social confirmation of norm-guided behavior. In addition, I find that more elaborate and more intense marriage ceremonies are more common among couples who marry young, among couples who did not cohabit before marriage, and among people who marry for the first time. These findings underscore the role of marriage ceremonies as a way of reducing the uncertainty people may have in making their transition from youth to adulthood. Socio-economic status characteristics, finally, have a modest effect on how people celebrate their marriage. Weddings and honeymoons appear more common among higher status groups than among lower status groups, with the exception of couples from farm background, who tend to have larger weddings than the average couple. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]; Copyright of Mens en Maatschappij is the property of Amsterdam University Press and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

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