Ethnic Groups and Marital Choices: Ethnic History and Marital Assimilation in Canada, 1871 and 1971

By Madeline A. Richard | Go to book overview

of the twentieth century in Canada as a whole as well as for individual provinces. Variations were noted among ethnic origin groups and among religious groups. While the Jewish group consistently exhibited the lowest rate of intermarriage, Germans and Scandinavians tended to exhibit the highest rates of exogamy. Among religious groupings the Jewish generally showed the lowest rates of interfaith marriages, Catholics somewhat higher, and Protestants the highest. It is also apparent that ethnic intermarriage occurs more frequently than religious intermarriage.

Several factors were found to be associated with intermarriage rates in Canada. Hurd ( 1929, 1942, 1964) and Kalbach ( 1975), for example, placed emphasis on the intermarriage patterns of native- born family heads because most of the foreign born were married before coming to Canada. This underlines the influence nativity, that is, generation, has on patterns of exogamy in Canada. Size of the group and sex ratio were generally found to be negatively related to rates of exogamy, while educational, occupational status, and income status were positively related to rates of intermarriage, as was urban residence. Other factors, such as regional concentrations and residential segregation, were also shown to have negative effects on patterns of intermarriage.

Hurd has provided the most consistent and the most detailed set of analyses on intermarriage in Canada. The 'progress' of assimilation was his foremost concern. For him intermarriage was at once an index and a method of assimilation' ( 1929:23). In his 1921 Census monograph he concluded that 'certain stocks assimilate fairly rapidly in Canada's melting pot . . . while many appear to be practically inassimilable' ( 1929:25). By the time of his 1941 Census monograph he was able to report definite progress in assimilation, especially with respect to intermarriage with the British and French ( 1964:18) and for those groups such as the South, Central, and Eastern Europeans, who twenty years earlier, were thought to be largely unassimilable. It would appear from Hurd's work that Canada has a melting pot of her own, different from the triple melting pot envisioned in the United States. In fact, based on his research and that of Heer and Hubay ( 1962, 1975), Kalbach concluded that the triple melting pot model developed by Kennedy 'has little validity for Canada' ( 1983:212).


SUMMARY

Previous research underlines the importance and significance of intermarriage for assimilation in Canada and the United States.

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Ethnic Groups and Marital Choices: Ethnic History and Marital Assimilation in Canada, 1871 and 1971
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Chapter One - Introduction 3
  • Chapter Two - the Relationship Between Intermarriage and Assimilation: Patterns, Correlates, and Determinants 16
  • Summary 38
  • Chapter Three - Canada's Immigrants: Patterns of Immigration and Ethnic Settlement 40
  • Chapter Four - Canada's Ethnic Populations 76
  • Summary 103
  • Chapter Five - Prevalence and Patterns of Intermarriage in Canada, 1871 and 1971 106
  • Summary 123
  • Chapter Six - Group and Individual Factors 126
  • Chapter Seven - Conclusion 145
  • Conclusions 152
  • Appendices 157
  • Notes 161
  • Bibliography 169
  • Name Index 181
  • Subject Index 185
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