Historical Social Research

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Jan Kok: “At age 27, she gets furious”. Scripts on Marriage and Life Course Variation in The Netherlands, 1850-1970 [Abstract]

Marrying too old, too young, or not at all could elicit scorn from all sides: family, friends and neighbours. The same could occur when a partner was much younger or older. During modernization new societal norms on marriage are supposed to have emerged and to have become more pervasive, as individual access to and timing of marriage became less dependent on family fortunes and family strategies. In this article, life courses of more than 15,000 Dutch individuals are studied in order to answer the question: was their timing of marriage and choice of partner related to (changing) life scripts – and what social or cultural groups were the carriers of these scripts – or still predominantly determined by family dynamics?

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