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February 14, 2014



oops, that would be lessen inequality

An Alien Visitor (Take me to your leader)

What is this love you speak of?

In this consumerist society, driven by adverts and media depictions, I think rich men, well groomed men, are ever more favoured in the evolutionary process.

Poor men are left with the scraps (no offence intended).

To get ahead men need to adhere to the favoured archetype. Men are not free, and freedom comes at a price.

Feminism fails to address these issues, or disregards them.

Women face these issues also, but no to the same extent.


Nick Rowe

Or is it because feminism frowns on bosses marrying their secretaries?

Heartiste (NSFW and likely to offend): http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2014/01/28/the-ch-boss-secretary-sexual-strategy-to-reduce-income-inequality-increase-fertility-and-reinvigorate-national-pride/


My next on-line dating ad will be headed: "Educated professional male seeks opportunities for assortative mating". Will that increase my chances?


1. "social interactions across income levels have become considerably rarer". Aside from Sam Pizzigati, which hardly counts as an oracle, you have no empirical evidence for this claim.

2. "First, what we have here is an example of Marx's dictum". Which is so general as to be non-falsifiable. If any change in mode of production doesn't not condition any [ill-defined] social processes, would you admit that this statement has been disproven? Hardly.

3. "Secondly, class divisions can perpetuate themselves not only by generating ideologies which sustain inequality, but also by generating practices such as assortative mating which themselves contribute to inequality."

Which is which? You seem to want to have it both ways. Not that they are incompatible; just that it's unlikely that they are of the same magnitude. The latter one would be accepted (actually, it *is* accepted) from anathema-worthy libertarians like C.Murphy. Since we are on the topic, assortative mating as cause for inequality, together with returns on skill and globalization, are explanations for inequality of the Right, usually belittled by the Left (not that I consider you a conventional leftist). But it seems that, after IQ heritability is also accepted as one factor of inequality, the intellectual debate on inequality will be settled on terms that allow for little policy intervention along traditional progressive lines.

Jacques René Giguère

How many of these secretaries were doctors and lawyers daughters who worked there to meet doctors and lawyers? How many were hired because they were doctors and lawyers daughters? After all, after marriage they were expected to fit in socially.
How many had gone to Radcliffe to meet Harvard men, dropping out and then receiving the (in)famous Ph.T (put husband through diploma)? Yep,a real graduation ceremony in the '50's

Churm Rincewind

The tendency of like to marry like is well established, based on physical attributes, religious beliefs, language, cultural background, social status, etc, etc.

So much, so obvious. Or, as my old Granny used to say, when it comes to marriage everyone reverts to type.

The Greenwood paper only considers the narrow issue of educational attainment, and on the basis that there's been an observeable increase in the likelihood of partnership between individuals of similar education proficiency it concludes that there's been an increase in assortative mating.

Well, as this blog has so often argued, extrapolating from the particular to the general is a non-starter. Greenwood's conclusions are, frankly, silly.

Miguel Madeira

I confess that I have some doubts about these
studies showing an increase in assortative mating. Why? Because they go largely against the "pop culture" perception - at least in fiction (novels, movies, etc.), social taboos against inter-class marriage (specially against women marrying "down") seem to be much more strong some decades ago than today, meaning that probably in the past these relationships were more rare (and, then, more prone to create 'scandal' when they occurred).

But perhaps the changes in reality and in "pop culture" are about different things: possibly what was a taboo in the past was "upper class woman + lower class man" marriages, when what is becoming rare in the present are "upper class man + lower class woman".

Or perhaps in the past things like education or even job are a bad proxy for the social class of a woman, meaning that, today "upper class man + upper class woman" marriage are more easy to detect in statistical studies (if both working class girls and upper class girls don't go to college, you can't really differentiate the two in these studies)

Dave Timoney

The typing pool trope is a red herring (cunningly teed-up by the reference to Rosie M Banks). "In the 60s and 70s, men commonly married secretaries or someone from the typing pool". I suggest that "commonly" is doing a lot of heavy lifting here. You could as easily claim that assortative mating has declined due to the disapearance of Young Conservative dances.

Similarly, Miquel's suggestion that "upper class man + lower class woman" has become rare, rather ignores the fact that this has always been statistically rare. The dull reality is that the tendency of the middle classes to marry each other has been reinforced by the growth in tertiary education and the increase in female workforce participation.

In other words, increasing class rigidity ("lower social mobility" in the popular parlance) is the paradoxical product of "progressive" developments, which was something that Marx predicted (the critique of Marx by later social scientists on this score, such as Weber and Dahrendorf, looks increasingly naive).

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