Changing family patterns cont

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  • Changing family patterns cont
    • Divorce
      • Doubled in UK between 1961 and 69 and doubled again by 72
        • Rate= 40% of all marriages will end in divorce
      • Fewer people are getting married and are cohabiting instead
      • 65% of petitions of divorce are from women, 1946= was 37%
      • 1857= men could divorce unfaithful wives but women had to prove their husbands disloyalty + still expensive
      • 1921= 3,000 divorces
        • 1961= 27,000 divorces= 9x higher
      • 1937- Grounds widened, including desertion and cruelty
      • 1923- Grounds for divorce equalised for men/women
      • 1949- Legal aid available= affordable
      • 1969- Divorce law reform act= irretrievable breakdown sole ground for divorce. Divorce available after 2 years agreed separation and 5 if only one spouse wants it
      • 1984- Could divorce after 1 year rather than 3
      • 2004- Civil Partnership Act allows for legal dissolution of a civil partnership on same grounds as marriage
      • 2007- Appeal Court ruling, in divorce settlements equality applies, 50-50 split of all salaries and pension rights
      • 2014- Same -sex marriages became law. are grounds for divorce as normal marriage
      • Feminist explanations-dual burden-double/triple shift= new conflict with husband
        • Arlie Hochschild- Women feel valued at work compare with at home, mens continuing resistance to do housework= frustration
          • Both working= less time/energy to resolve any problems
        • Jessie Bernard- women feel dissatisfaction with patriarchal marriage, accepting feminist ideas: becoming more conscious of patriarchal oppression and more confident to reject it
      • Modernity & individualisation- Individuals are unwilling to remain with a partner if the relationship fails to deliver personal fulfilment.
        • Giddiness- They seek a 'pure relationship'- one that exists to satisfy each others needs and not of of duty/tradition or for sake of children.
      • Meaning of high divorce rate
        • The New Right- Undesirable= undermines marriage= total to social stability. High divorce rate= female lone parents= burden on state= boys lack male role model= results in poorer health and educational outcomes
        • Feminists- Desirable= means women are breaking free from oppression of the patriarchal nuclear family
        • Postmodernists and the individualists- shows individuals they now have freedom= major cause of greater family diversity
        • Functionalists- Not a threat just a result of peoples higher expectations
        • Interactionists- David Morgan= We cannot generalise as every individuals meaning is different
        • The personal life perspective- divorce can cause financial difficulties epcecially with women & cause lack of daily contact with children and non- resident parents
    • Desertion- On partner leaves the other but the couple remain legally married
      • Legal separation- A court separates the financial and legal affairs of the couple but where they remain married and are not free to re-marry
      • Empty shell marriage- Couple continue to live under the same roof but remain married in name only
    • Reasons for changing patterns of marriage
      • Changing attitudes to marriage- Less pressure to marry and more freedom to choose what type of relationship they want - norm that everyone ought to get married has greatly changed
      • Declining stigma attached to alternatives to marriage- cohabitation, remaining single, having children outside of marriage= doesn't lead to a 'shot gun wedding'
        • 'Couples who want children should get married' - 1989= 70% yes                 2012-42%
      • Secularisation
      • Changes in position of women
      • Fear of divorce
    • Reasons for increase in cohabitation
      • Decline in stigma attached to sex outside of marriage. 1989- 44% pre-marital sex is not wrong, 2012- 65%
      • Untitled
        • Young more likely+ if atheist
      • Increased career opportunities for women= need financial security of marriage less
      • A trial marriage, leading to marriage
      • Attempt to create a more personally negotiated and equal relationship than conventional patriarchal marriage
        • Shelton and John- women who cohabit do less housework than their married counterparts
    • One-person households
      • By 2033 over 30% of the adult population will be single
      • Reasons for changes
        • Increase in separation= mostly men under 65 smother gets custody
        • Trends towards marrying later and decline in marrying= people remaining single
        • Creative singlehood
        • Too few partners in same age group eg. older widows
      • Simon Duncan & Miranda Phillips- 1/10 adults are in significant relationship but not married or cohabiting- accounts for half of those classed as single
        • Trend towards less formalised relationships
        • Duncan and Phillips- sometimes as they could not afford to
        • Wanted to keep their own home
        • Too early to cohabit
        • 20% see 'living apart together' as their ideal relationship
    • Childbearing
      • Predicted that 1/4 of those born in 1973 will be childless at 45
      • Reasons for change- only 28% of 25-34 yr olds think marriage should come before parenthood
        • Women having children later
      • Reasons that  lone-parent families tend to be headed by women
        • Widespread belief that women are by nature suited to an expressive/nurturing role
        • Courts usually give mother custody
        • Men might be less willing ti give up work to care for children
        • May wish to be single= Jean Renvoize- professional women were able to support their children without the fathers involvement
          • Elis Cashmore- working class mothers chose to love on welfare benefits without a partner as they had experienced abuse
      • Lone parenthood and the welfare state
        • New right thinker, Charles Murray= the growth of lone parent families is due to an over generous welfare state providing benefits
          • Has created a reverse incentive= rewarding irresponsible behaviour, having children without being able to provide for them
            • Welfare share creates a dependency culture- people assume the state will help them + their children
              • Solution= abolish welfare benefits= reduce dependency culture that encourages birth outside marriage
                • Critics: Lone parents families more likely to be in poverty because:
                  • Lack of affordable childcare prevents lone parents from working, 60% of them are unemployed..2x higher than women with partners
                  • Inadequate welfare benefits
                  • Women earn less than men; most likely to be head of lone parent family
                  • Failure of fathers to pay maintenance,especially if they have formed a second family that they have to support
    • Reasons for patterns- stepfamilies=
      • Are a result of lone parent families+ increase in divorce+separation
      • Women mostly have children from previous relationship 85% (compared to men 11%) as women usually get custody
      • Greater risk of poverty because often more children from previous relationships= father has to take care of double children
    • The Beanpole  family- Bell= Particular type of extended family
      • Julia Brannen- long and thin= extended vertically- through three or more generations= grandparents, parents and children
        • Not extended horizontally- doesn't involve unces/aunts/cousins etc
          • Sharp decline inn support and contact between siblings= suggests beanpole
      • May be result of increased life expectancy, more surviving= more contact
        • Or due to smaller family sizes, means people have fewer siblings and fewer horizontal lines
      • Obligations to relatives- despite beanpole families, people still feel obligation to help their wider kin.
        • For example, Janet Finch and Jennifer Mason- 90% people had given or received financial helped and half had cared for a sick relative
        • Finch and Mason- more expected from females with helping parents when partner not available= caregivers
          • Men/son more likely to help financially

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