Has the Dutch Nobility Retained its Social Relevance during the 20th Century?
Title: Has the Dutch Nobility Retained its Social Relevance during the 20th Century?
Author: DRONKERS, Jaap
Citation: European Sociological Review, 2003, 19, 1, 81-96.
In earlier studies we found that the Dutch nobility continues to have a strong advantage in achieving elite positions within Dutch society today, despite its very weak legal status since the late 19th century. The aim of this article is to explore some of the possible reasons why this ascriptive characteristic has remained important in a modern and bourgeois society such as the Netherlands. From the official lists of members of the Dutch nobility, we selected all 3,977 persons born in the 20th century in 113 Dutch noble lineages with surnames starting with letters between H and Na. Membership of knightly orders (Johanniter, Malta) correlates positively with tertiary education and increases the odds of obtaining elite positions in the Netherlands. The 13 per cent of these members of the Dutch nobility marrying a noble husband or wife indicates homogamy with an odds-ratio of 23. The odds of obtaining elite positions did not decrease significantly for members of the Dutch nobility born between 1900 and 1940, and the lower odds for the members of the nobility born after 1940 are attributable to their youth. The continuing advantage of members of the Dutch nobility is most easily attributable to their bourgeois origins and their modernization of their social and cultural capital.
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