Modernisation and the cultural practice of consanguineous marriage: a study of four provinces of Iran

Mohammad J. Abbasi-Shavazi , University of Tehran
Peter McDonald, Australian National University
Meimanat Hosseini Chavoshi, Australian National University

Consanguineous marriage has been the culturally preferred form of marriage in Iran. This paper examines the extent to which modernisation through education, urbanization and changes in modes of production has affected the incidence of consanguineous marriage. The 2002 Iran Fertility Transition Survey conducted in the four provinces of Gilan, Sistan and Baluchistan, Yazd and West Azarbaijan provides information on the degree of relationship of marriage partners from around 6550 ever-married women aged less than 50. Overall, the level of relative marriage ranged from 23 per cent in Gilan to 78 per cent in Sistan and Baluchistan. Attitudinal data are also available. The paper finds that the practice of relative marriage has remained surprisingly resilient in the face of modernization and that ethnicity and religion remain important determinants. On the other hand, attitudes have shifted towards marriage with a non-relative. Anthropological research would illuminate the processes of consanguineous marriage in Iran.

  See paper

Presented in Session 70: Value changes and family formation