The use of marriage data to measure the social order in nineteenth-century Britain


Bottero, Wendy and Prandy, Kenneth (1998) The use of marriage data to measure the social order in nineteenth-century Britain. Sociological Research Online, 3, (1)

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Description/Abstract

This article describes the construction of a measure of the social order in the nineteenth century, which will subsequently be used as a basis for studying processes of social reproduction (or social mobility). The technique of correspondence analysis is used to map the ordering of groups of occupations in two time periods 1777-1866 and 1867-1913. The data are derived from the occupations at marriage of the groom, his father and his father-in-law (the occupations of brides, unfortunately, being very much under-recorded). Marriage, it is argued, is a socially significant act linking, on average, families that occupy similar positions in the social order and analyses of the patterns of social interaction involved provide a means of determining the nature of the social space within which similarity is defined. The three occupations provide three pair-wise comparisons and each comparison gives a mapping of the row occupations and the column occupations six in all. Since any one of these should provide a measure of the social order, assuming there to be any consistency in such a concept, we would expect that, at both time periods, the result of the analyses would be six closely-related estimates of the same underlying dimension. This is what is found; the inter-correlations are very high. Furthermore, there is a very strong relationship between the measures of the social order constructed for the two time periods. The analyses are presented within a framework that emphasises the value of the procedures used for understanding the nature of measurement in social science.

Keywords:
Correspondence Analysis; Marriage; Measurement; Social Mobility; Social Order; Social Reproduction; Social Space

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1360-7804 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: correspondence analysis, marriage, measurement, social mobility, social order, social reproduction, social space
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
Divisions: University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Social Sciences > Sociology and Social Policy
ePrint ID: 33815
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2006
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 18:21
Contact Email Address: wendy.bottero@manchester.ac.uk
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/33815

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