Group and Individual Factors
'Just as marriage is a two-way street, there is rarely a one-lane avenue to mate selection' ( Bernard 1980:90). Individuals do not usually select spouses without regard to the persons around them. Assuming that this is true for both intra- and intermarriages, 'the marital assimilation process must have been at least two-dimensional' (ibid.). The likelihood of marital assimilation, then, depends on both the availability and desirability of potential marriage partners. Over the last five decades, social scientists have attempted to discover the particular social traits of those who married out and those who married within their own group in an effort to isolate the specific characteristics associated with intermarriage. As indicated in Chapter 2, among the many research findings, relationships between intermarriage and an individual's level of education, occupational status, nativity, age, and place of residence were uncovered. This chapter examines the effects of both group and individual characteristics on husbands' propensities for intermarriage in 1871 and 1971. In effect, the analysis tests the applicability of some mid- twentieth-century theories about people who intermarry to the actual occurrences for immigrant populations in Canada, using data from the 1871 and 1971 censuses.
Ethnic group characteristics, such as the proportion native born, the size of the group, and sex ratio, have been shown to affect an individual's chances to outmarry ( Barron 1972; Blau 1977). This section of the analysis presents Spearman's rank order correlation