Families, Relationships and Societies
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Motivations and reactions to social undervaluation of single people in married society: an Indonesian perspective

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  • 1 The University of Queensland, , Australia and Universitas Pelita Harapan, , Indonesia
  • | 2 The University of Queensland, , Australia
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Being single and of marriageable age in a society where marriage is the norm invites perceptions of social undervaluation and vulnerability to social pressure to conform. The current study examines the reasons for more Indonesian adults remaining single, the perceived societal stigma related to this, and how they react to such undervaluing societal perceptions. Never-married Indonesian adults (N=350; Mage=29.79 ± 4.50) participated in this study, where their responses were analysed by thematic coding. The majority of participants stated that they were involuntarily single. The findings indicated four contexts within which they remained single: situational shortcomings, compliance with socially constructed marriage ideals, various perceptions of marriage, and unreadiness to marry. Participants mainly reacted to pressures with polite disregard, which reflected their cultural practice of avoiding conflict. This study provides an introduction to understanding the complexities and challenges for single people in Indonesia, which is still understudied.

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  • 1 The University of Queensland, , Australia and Universitas Pelita Harapan, , Indonesia
  • | 2 The University of Queensland, , Australia

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