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  • Divorce- Legal determination of marriage
      • Dramatic increase in number of divorces
      • No. of divorces each year rose from 27,000 (1961) to a peak of 18,000 (1993)
        • 1974: One divorce for every four marriages
        • 2012: Two divorces for every four marriages
        • Shows fewer people getting married, lower number of people married
      • DS DON'T SHOW: No. people who are separated but not divorced. No. people who live in empty shell marriages. Amount of unstable marriages existed before divorce was made easier
        • "Empty shell marriages"-  Marital relationship broken down, couple continue to live together- No divorce
      • Changes in law:
        • Made divorce easier& cheaper to get
        • Men& women have equal rights -Steep rise in 1970's &1980's
        • 1911- 600 Divorces a year
        • The Divorce Law Reform Act 1969
        • The Matrimonial Act 1984- Increase in No. of divorce 1984 & 1985
      • Changes in society:
        • Changing role in women:
          • Two-thirds of divorce-petitons are initiated to, and granted to women
          • Less willing to accept patriarchal nature of marraiges
          • Employment- norm for married women to have jobs- incraesed financial independence
          • Welfare state benefits
        • Rising expectations of marriage:
          • Functionalist: Parson& Fletcher: Women demand more in relationship
        • Growing Secularization
          • Gibson (1994)- Marriage has become less of a sacred commitement
        • Changing social attitudes:
          • Post modernist: Beck- Gernstein (1995)- sees rising DR as product of growing individualization
          • Greater individual freedom of choice
          • Gidden (1993)- Confluent love have gained in significance, people less likely to stay with unsatisfactory partners-  Personal fufilment
        • Availability, more effective contraception:
        • Increasing life expectancy:
          • More time for marraiges to fo wrong
        • Reduced functions of family:
          • Marraiage has become less of a pratical necessity


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