Remarriage, Gender, and Rural Households: A Comparative Analysis of Widows and Widowers in Europe and Asia

Satomi Kurosu, Reitaku University
Christer Lundh, Lund University
Marco Breschi, Università degli Studi di Sassari

This paper investigates the patterns and covariates of remarriage in four rural societies in eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe and Asia. Although the family systems and marriage patterns varied, remarriage was quit frequent in all these societies. Remarriage had far-reaching effects, not only on individual life courses, but also in re-forming and reorganizing households. We apply event history analysis to longitudinal data drawn from Scania in southern Sweden, Casalguidi in central Italy, Liaoning and Shuangcheng in northeast China, and Shimomoriya and Niita in northeast Japan. We demonstrate that age and gender asymmetries were embedded in the intricate sociocultural context. Remarriage risks of widows and widowers were highly dependent on their necessities and availabilities of support shaped by their socioeconomic status and household context, and in relation to local economic conditions.

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Presented in Session 77: Cross-national Perspectives on Family and Fertility