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The practice of marrying into an equal or more prestigious social group or caste.


1. (Anthropology & Ethnology) a custom that forbids a woman to marry a man of lower social status
2. (Anthropology & Ethnology) any marriage with a partner of higher social status
[C19: from hyper- + -gamy]
ˌhyperˈgamous adj


(haɪˈpɜr gə mi)

marriage to a person of a social status higher than one's own; orig., esp. in India, the custom of allowing a woman to marry only into her own or a higher social group.
hy•per′ga•mous, adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
Marriage, and yes, female oppression, slut shaming, religion, these were all a means to control hypergamy [infidelity].
Marriages within the khandan and biradri that would also allow for female hypergamy were preferred as they increased the social, if not economic, status of the family and strengthened the ties between families (22).
Asian women marrying white, Australian men are faced with the discourses of hypergamy (the marrying up of third-world women with first-world men), 'mail order brides', and the issue of remittances (Saroca 1997; Robinson 1996a, 2000).
At first sight, Chinese women's transnational marriage appears to follow the familiar logic of global hypergamy as they strive to marry up from small towns and cities in China to the global city of Singapore.
Far from being unique to India, hypergamy is in Devlin's account universal and, what's more, driven by female, not male, desires.
female hypergamy, choosing a spouse from a family of higher social status or greater wealth.
Brahman influence in Bengali society was enhanced from Sena times onward by a distinctly Bengali system of hypergamy in which high caste women married Kulin Brahman men who fathered children with multiple wives; this produced a multi-caste elite that included merchants, landowners, and administrators who flourished under later medieval regimes.
Hypergamy is the practice of seeking a spouse of higher socioeconomic status than oneself.
Hypergamy composed the primary traditional channel for upward mobility for women, which is the tendency for women to marry upward in socioeconomic status.
Traditionally in heterosexual couples, the dominating pattern existing was the educational hypergamy of the woman, a type of relationship in which the woman marries a man with a higher educational attainment and in which there are important gender differences.
Introduction: Cross-Border Marriages, Gendered Mobility, and Global Hypergamy.