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    • Trends
      • Changing Social Attitudes
        • Michell and Goody (1997) - an important change since the 1960s has been rapid stigma attached to divorce
        • new laws & tolerance and understanding about marital breakdown
      • Secularisation
        • marriage traditionally seen as a holy institution, media is now more influential than religion according to some
      • Emancipation of Women
        • general consenus is women lose out in marriage -give up work, lose financial independence etc.
        • 70% divorces instigated by women
        • women now have more rights and opportunities (feminist movement of late 1960s/early 1970s
        • more women in the workforce - low skill, low paid, part time jobs due to childcare
      • Cost
        • changes in the law has made it cheaper and easier to get a divorce
      • Higher Expectations of Marriage
        • if expectations aren't met they will look for someone else
        • Fletcher (1996) argues that we now place too higher expectations on our marriages - leading to divorce
        • Allan and Crow (2001) state that love, satisfaction, commitment are now the cornerstones of marriage, if it isn't there you get out.
      • Changes in Birth Rate
        • Legal Changes
          • have made divorce easier to obtain, now has changed in response to society
    • Concequences of a High Divorce Rate
      • need more housing
      • more women looking for jobs
      • more need for childcare
      • re-marriages rise
      • increase in welfare benefits
      • increase in need for health services  emotional
      • increase in social problems - more likely to be involved in crime/deviant behaviour, cause emotional problems (extra NHS cost, increase in childcare
      • increase in poverty due to welfare benefits, poor housing, poor environment, get stress in 'cycle of poverty'
    • Divorce Legislation
      • before 1867 divorce was virtually non-existent
      • 1857 - men could divorce unfaithful wives but was very costly
      • 1923 - grounds for divorce equalised
      • 1969 - Divorce Law Reform Act - made irretrievable breakdown of marriage acceptable grounds for divorce (allowed after 2 years of separeation
        • introduced legal aid - benefited women especially
      • 1983 - Family Law Act - after a year
    • Research
      • Beck and Beck- Gernsheim (1995)
        • argue rising divorce rates are the product of a rapidly changing world in which the traditional riles, rituals and traditions of love, romance and relationships no longer apply.
        • Don't point out that the modern world is characterised by ...
          • individualisation - under less pressure to conform to traditional collective goals set by extended family, religion/culture
          • choice - cultural and economic changes mean a greater range of choices available to us in forms of lifestyle/living arrangements
          • conflict - more potential for antagonism between men and women because there is no natural clash of interest between the selfishness acouraged by individualisation


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