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Sociologist explains the challenges of marrying rich…and poor

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Love conquers all. At least, that’s how the saying goes. But can love conquer class?

It’s a question Duke University professor Jessi Streib sets out to answer in an op-ed she wrote for the Washington Post entitled “For richer or poorer: The challenges of marrying outside your class.” In it, she explains how her research has led her to discover that the financial stability of a person during his or her childhood had notable effects on that person’s marriage in many ways. Streib argues things like how free time is spent, house work, renovations, and even talking through feelings can be influenced by the financial stability of each spouse’s childhood.

Has class difference had an influence on your marriage? What are some of the benefits and difficulties of marrying someone from a starkly different social class? How much of a factor is a person’s social class to you when considering marriage?


Jessi Streib, author of the book “The Power of the Past: Understanding Cross-Class Marriages,” and an assistant professor of sociology at Duke University.