Journal of Family History: Studies in Family, Kinship and Demography vol:33 issue:4 pages:430-451
Marriage in Taiwan in the early twentieth century was a very diverse phenomenon. Marriages could be in the "minor" fashion, in which the bride was adopted at an early age by her parents-in-law. They could also be of the virilocal "major" type, in which young adults married and lived in the household of the husband's parents. Finally, they could be "uxorilocal," in which the husband came to live with his in-laws. The diversity of types reflects a complex mixture of motives on behalf of parents, who aimed to secure the patrilineage, but in the meantime were motivated to save on wedding expenses, safeguard their hold on the younger generation, forge alliances between clans, and bring in additional labor. In our paper, we assess the relative importance of these parental motives by applying a competing risks analysis on household registry data from nine Taiwanese communities. By combining data on the levels of the individuals, the composition of their households, the characteristics of their communities, and economic fluctuations, we demonstrate the remarkable flexibility and adaptability of Taiwanese marriage within the overriding constraint of producing male offspring.