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Inequality, ethnicity, and status in a ranked society: intermarriage in Mindanao, the Philippines

McDoom, Omar Shahabudin (2019) Inequality, ethnicity, and status in a ranked society: intermarriage in Mindanao, the Philippines. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 59. pp. 71-80. ISSN 0276-5624

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.rssm.2018.11.007


A tension exists between the normative aspiration for greater equality between ethnic and religious groups in society and the empirical reality that ascendant groups benefit from the unequal social order. I explore how this tension manifests in the social sphere by examining how ethnic inequality shapes the formation of interethnic ties in an ethnically-ranked society. I examine the case of Mindanao, a deeply-divided and ethnically-ranked society in the Global South. I find ethnic inequality is associated with both integrative and distancing forces. When ethnic inequality is low, individuals from high-ranked groups tend to inmarry, but low-ranked groups to outmarry. I suggest this divergence reflects the importance of status hierarchies. Intermarriages represent status mobility for subordinate groups but status threat for dominant groups. Ingroup preference intensifies for high-ranked groups because they are anxious to preserve the distinctiveness of group boundaries and their status superiority. I establish these findings using census micro-data on over two million marriages.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2018 12:54
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 23:22

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