Jan, Jie-Sheng (2012-02). Ethnic Language and East Asian Endogamy and Exogamy in the United States. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Previous research on Asian intermarriage has examined the effects of cultural and structural assimilation, such as educational attainment, English ability, and income, on major Asian groups' intermarriage patterns. But it has given little attention to the importance of cultural retention in determining East Asians' intermarriage patterns and sometimes treats distinct East Asian groups as one pan-Asian group. East Asian Americans possess their own distinct languages, customs, and cultures, much different from one another. These unexplored characteristics play a crucial role in the definition of group identity and relationships with other groups. This study draws on selective assimilation perspective and utilizes the Census 2000 5% PUMS files and multinomial logistic regression models to investigate the influence of ethnic language on the probabilities of endogamy and exogamy of East Asians in the U.S. Ethnicity, English ability, gender, age, nativity status, and college education are included. Findings indicate that ethnic language retention increases endogamy and decreases exogamy for all men of the four East Asian groups, but not intermarriage with other races for Vietnamese men. Ethnic languages also increase the chance of in-group marriage (while decreasing the likelihood of out-group marriage) among Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese women, except on intermarriage with other races for Japanese women. The effects of ethnic language on East Asian marriages are the most prominent among all predictors and are almost comprehensive. All other predictors in the study are no match for ethnic language in influencing marriage patterns of East Asians.

publication date

  • December 2011