Value-orientation and marriage behaviour in Japan

Nobutaka Fukuda, Aoyama Gakuin University

This paper attempts to examine the influence of ideational factors on marriage behaviour in Japan. It is a debatable issue whether the influence of socio-economic and ideational factors have an influence on marriage behaviour in Japan. Many studies have so far claimed that, due to an enhancement in women’s economic power, age at marriage rises and the number of singles increases in Japan. On the other hand, it is argued that great material affluence and well-developed social security have caused a strong preference to self-actualization and individuation, as a result of which marriage has lost popularity in Europe. However, few studies have been conducted regarding the impact of value-orientation on marriage patterns in Japan. We employ the latent class hazard analysis to investigate the effects of socio-economic and attitudinal factors on Japanese marriage behaviour. Data obtained from the Japanese Generations and Gender Survey (Japanese GGS) is used for our analysis. Since the survey is a panel survey, it is very suitable for investigating the influence of ideational factors on marriage behaviour. Results of the analysis showed that attitudinal factor plays an important role in determining the pattern of marriage in Japan. People who have progressive and post-materialistic attitudes had a lower risk of getting married, compare with those with traditional and materialistic attitudes. This finding suggests that Japanese marriage behaviour is affected by not only economic but also ideational factors.

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Presented in Poster Session 3