Normative Groups: Religion and Language as Structural Determinants of the Choice between Marriage and Common-Law Union in Quebec and Ontario, 1937-2001

BenoƮt Laplante, Institut national de la recherche scientifique /Universite du Quebec

Important changes in the behavior related to family and sexual life observed in Quebec during the second half of the 20th century are a consequence of an important transformation of the foundation of the normative system shared by the members of its main socio-religious group, French-speaking Catholics. Using biographical data from the 2001 Survey on the History of the family, I compare the evolution of the behavior of Quebec French-speaking Catholics and Ontario English-speaking Protestants in the rate of union formation and the choice between marriage and common-law union as the form of first union. The general result is that the evolution of the differences between the two groups is compatible with the hypothesis.

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Presented in Session 70: History of the Life Course and Family Transitions