Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Social class origin and assortative mating in Britain, 1949-2010

Henz, Ursula and Mills, Colin (2018) Social class origin and assortative mating in Britain, 1949-2010. Sociology, 52 (6). 1217 - 1236. ISSN 0038-0385

Text - Accepted Version
Download (661kB) | Preview

Identification Number: 10.1177/0038038517726479


This article examines trends in assortative mating in Britain over the last 60 years. Assortative mating is the tendency for like to form a conjugal partnership with like. Our focus is on the association between the social class origins of the partners. The propensity towards assortative mating is taken as an index of the openness of society which we regard as a macro level aspect of social inequality. There is some evidence that the propensity for partners to come from similar class backgrounds declined during the 1960s. Thereafter, there was a period of 40 years of remarkable stability during which the propensity towards assortative mating fluctuated trendlessly within quite narrow limits. This picture of stability over time in social openness parallels the well-established facts about intergenerational social class mobility in Britain.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 15:55
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2024 07:33

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics