Race and Ethnicity: Essays in Comparative Sociology

By Pierre L. Van den Berghe | Go to book overview

3
Hypergamy, Hypergenation,
and Miscegenation

The term hypergamy has been used for a long time to describe a matrimonial practice found in some castes of Hindu society. Robert E. Park suggested many years ago the widespread occurrence of hypergamy when he spoke of it as "a principle of human nature" 1 in connection with miscegenation, but he did not elaborate on his insight. The most systematic theoretical treatment of hypergamy is probably Kingsley Davis' article on "Intermarriage in Caste Societies,"2 although the author did not extend his analysis to class societies. 3 The theoretical literature on the subject, then, is still scanty. In the present chapter we shall point to the widespread occurrence of hypergamy and try to make explicit the structural consequences of, and conditions for, the phenomenon.

Hypergamy is a form of marriage in which a woman marries a man of higher social status than her own, or better, than that of her family of orientation. Since the term applies only to marriage, we must reluctantly coin the more generic word hypergenation to cover such practices as concubinage. 4 The main necessary condition for hypergenation is, by definition, status differential. The term "status" in this chapter will refer to relative prestige positions rather than to specific statuses corresponding to roles. When

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Reprinted from Human Relations 13, no. 1 ( 1960): 83-90.

-54-

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Race and Ethnicity: Essays in Comparative Sociology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 3
  • Notes 17
  • Part I - General and Theoretical 19
  • 1 - Paternalistic Versus Competitive Race Relations: an Ideal-Type Approach 21
  • Notes 39
  • 2 - Distance Mechanisms of Stratification 42
  • 3 - Hypergamy, Hypergenation, and Miscegenation 54
  • Summary 63
  • Notes 63
  • 4 - Racialism and Assimilation in Africa and the Americas 68
  • Notes 77
  • 5 - Toward a Sociology of Africa 79
  • Part II - The Americas 95
  • 6 - Stereotypes, Norms, and Interracial Behavior in São Paulo, Brazil 97
  • Notes 105
  • 7 - Ethnic Relations in Southeastern Mexico 107
  • 8 - Ethnic Membership and Cultural Change in Guatemala 137
  • Conclusion 149
  • Notes 150
  • Part III - South Africa 153
  • 9 - Research in South Africa: The Story of My Experiences with Tyranny 155
  • Notes 171
  • 10 - Apartheid, Fascism, and the Golden Age 173
  • 11 - Race Attitudes in Durban, South Africa 188
  • Summary 206
  • Notes 207
  • 12 - Racial Segregation in South Africa: Degrees and Kinds 210
  • 13 - Miscegenation in South Africa 224
  • Summary 239
  • Notes 241
  • 14 - Language and Nationalism in South Africa 244
  • Part IV - The Indian Diaspora 259
  • 15 - Indians in Natal and Fiji: a "Controlled Experiment" in Culture Contact 261
  • Notes 274
  • 16 - Asians in East and South Africa 276
  • Index 304
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