Mate Selection, Marriage, and Social Change in Vietnam

Vu Tuan Huy, University of Washington
Rukmalie Jayakody, Pennsylvania State University
John Knodel, University of Michigan
Vu Manh Loi, University of Washington

This study documents changes in mate selection and marriage within the Vietnamese family over the last 40 years using data from the 2003 Red River Delta Family Survey (n=1,296), a representative sample of currently married individuals in three marital cohorts. The three cohorts examined entered marriage during distinctly different historical periods, allowing us to use a life course framework to explore changes in mate selection and marriage by comparing the experiences of each cohort. Cohort one married between 1962 and 1971, cohort two between 1977 and 1985, and the final cohort between 1992 and 2000. Findings indicate that although some aspects of marriage and mate selection have become more 'modern' or westernized, other areas have moved in the opposite direction. Both gender and urban/rural differences in these changes are examined, and the findings are discussed in the context of historical changes. The potential mechanisms driving these changes are also discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Union Formation and Dissolution and Parents' Living Arrangements