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Consensual Union and Marriage in Brazil, 1970–2010. Gender Equality, Legal Issues and Social Context

Laplante, Benoît; Melo Vieira, Joice; Barnabé, Graziela Cristina Farina Ramos Ribeiro (2019). Consensual Union and Marriage in Brazil, 1970–2010. Gender Equality, Legal Issues and Social Context In: Analytical Family Demography. Springer, Cham, p. 57-98.

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Résumé

In Brazil as elsewhere in Latin America, consensual union has become common over the last decades, in the working class and also in the middle class. However, unlike in most other countries in the region, under current Brazilian law, most of the civil effects of marriage apply to consensual union. This isat odds with consensual union being an alternative form of conjugal union in which a presumably egalitarian couple manage their own affairs without the intervention of the state. We study the choice between marriage and consensual union in the Brazilian context, where both forms of conjugal union are used by the working and middle classes but with different meanings in each stratum, and the effect of gender equality and women’s economic independence on this choice. We focus on three aspects of within-couple gender equality: income equality, educational equality and economic equality. We estimate the effects of these factors on the probability of living in a consensual union rather than being married among couples who live together at the time of the census, using data from the five Brazilian censuses carried out between 1970 and 2010. Results show that income equality increases the probability of living in a consensual union, while income level reduces it – both in a qualified way. This is consistent with and goes beyond previous research which suggested that consensual union and marriage have different meanings for the working and middle classes, with marriage as a marker of upward mobility for the working class, and consensual union as progressive in the middle class. Overall, our results suggest that in the Brazilian legal context, where the law imposes by default upon marriage as well as consensual union the statutory matrimonial regime in which all acquisitions are deemed common, and where married couples may opt to organize their economic relations under different legal property regimes, marriage may be almost as effective a framework as consensual union for the economic independence of the partners.

Type de document: Chapitre de livres
Centre: Centre Urbanisation Culture Société
Date de dépôt: 19 sept. 2018 14:40
Dernière modification: 19 sept. 2018 14:40
URI: http://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/7607

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