In pre-industrial society, choosing a marriage partner was a crucial process, and especially so for landowners. This study focuses on social aspects of mate selection in five rural parishes in southern Sweden between 1829 and 1894, using an individual-level database containing information on a large number of marriages and the social origins of the marrying couple regardless of whether they were born in the relevant parish or not. The information makes it possible to study homogamy without introducing the possible selection biases implicit in looking only at non-migrating population, a consideration which is of great importance in a society characterized by very high levels of geographical mobility. The results show a community marked by quite strong homogamy but with pronounced differences among social groups. Landholding peasants were the most homogamous. The pattern of homogamy also remained fairly constant despite fundamental economic and social change.
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