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

By Madeline A. Richard | Go to book overview

different ethnicity, 31.5 per cent had wives of the same ethnicity but a different religion, and the remaining 30.5 per cent had wives of a completely different ethno-religious origin. Similarly, of the Dutch Roman Catholic foreign-born husbands who married exogamously, 47.1 per cent had wives of a differnt ethnic origin but the same religion, 38.6 per cent had wives of the same ethnic origin but a different religion, and 14.3 per cent had wives of a different ethno- religious origin.

Other husbands deviated from the expected pattern in a different way. The largest proportion of Ukrainian Catholic husbands of both generations, foreign-born Scandinavian Lutherans, Scottish Presbyterians, and German Lutherans who outmarried, for example, acquired wives of a different ethno-religious group. The proportions were largest for native-born Ukrainian Catholics at 62.7 per cent and lowest for Scottish Presbyterians at 49.2 per cent. In other words, a substantial proportion of husbands from these groups did not seem to be influenced by their ethno-religious origin when they married. Size of the group may also have been a contributing factor, especially for husbands who were Dutch Roman Catholics because of their small number.

In sum, only the native-born English Anglicans and foreign-born Dutch Catholics exhibited the expected pattern of decreasing percentages from right to left across the assimilation continuum of the table. Thus, only one of the ethno-religious groups among native- born husbands exhibited the expected pattern, while ten did not. Similarly, ordy one of the groups among the foreign-born husbands followed the expected pattern, while ten did not.


SUMMARY

The data demonstrate advances in marital assimilation for native- born husbands over the century. Most husbands acquired wives of the same ethnic or ethno-religious origin as themselves. However, significant variation between ethnic and ethno-religious origins between the two time periods was notable. This was especially true for Irish, Scottish, and German husbands who did not fully conform to the pattern exhibited by most groups. By 1971 they had become overwhelmingly exogamous. The same pattern is observed for native-born Irish Catholics and Scottish Presbyterians, but to a slightly less extent. As expected, native-born husbands exhibited higher rates of ethnic exogamy than did foreign-born husbands, since long term residence as reflected by generation has been shown to be positively associated with intermarriage. Exogamy was less in both

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