Hukou intermarriage pairings in postsocialist China

Ching Wu Lake LUI

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Most studies on intermarriages between groups rely on the prevalence of intermarriage to assess social boundaries and distances. Yet the characteristics underlying the intermarriage pairings are seldom examined. In this study, I analyze intermarriages across hukou, China’s household registration status of designating people as “rural” or “urban” categories based on parents’ place of origin. Using Chinese General Social Surveys, I show that these intermarriage pairings do not follow the patterns of endogamous marriage. Rather, intermarriages build on group inequalities based on hukou in which urban hukou holders are able to marry more educated rural spouses because of their urban status advantage even after controlling for the general likelihood of intermarriage, educational homogamy and marginal differences in education between rural and urban hukou holders. There are also differences in gender preferences the urban men seem to be less worried about the partner’s hukou unlike the urban women.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


Lui, L. (2016, May). Hukou intermarriage pairings in postsocialist China. Paper presented at the International Sociological Association (ISA) 2016 Summer Conference, Research Committee on Social Stratification and Mobility (RC28): Intergenerational Transfer, Human Capital and Inequality, National University of Singapore.


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