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  • Divorce
    • Changes in divorce
      • 7 out of 10 petitions for marriage come from women
      • 150,000 divorces a year a 6th more than 1971
    • Explanations of the increase in divorce
      • Changes in the law
        • Equalising the grounds for divorce between the sexes
        • Widening the grounds for divorce
        • Making divorce cheaper
        • Other solutions to the problem
          • Desertion, where one partner leaves the other but the couple remain legally married
          • Legal separation, where 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", where the marriage continues, they live together but the want to be married is gone (usually stay in separate beds)
      • Declining stigma and changing attitiudes
        • The public attitudes on divorce has meant more people accept the thought of it
        • It becomes more socially accpetable
        • People agree with it more because there is more of a pursuit of romantic love and women are now more independent
      • Changes in the position of women
        • Women today are more likely to be in paid work
        • The Equal Pay Act of 1970 meant women are paid the same as men
        • Better girls success  in education means that girl will get a better career and better pay
        • Welfare benefit means that women don't need to be fianically dependant on their  husbands
      • Secularisation
        • As the influence and involvement of Churches within the modern culture, many of their beliefs become less intertwined with our lives
          • 43% of people with no religion were cohabiting
        • Churches have also become more relaxed on the subject, showing slack means those who are religious may get a divorce too
      • Rising expectations of marriage
        • Fletcher
          • Higher expectations on marriage such as romantic love means that more people want a happy relationship
            • If its failing they don't try to make it work, they just divorce
            • He is optimistic that re-marriage is on the rise with many divorcee's remarrying  - they are not dismissing the whole marriage option
    • The meaning of high divorce rates
      • The New Right think that are divorce undermines the traditional nuclear family  and creates an underclass of welfare dependant lone families
      • Feminists think that this is good as women are breaking away from male oppression
      • Postmodernists see divorce as giving individuals the right to choose their own life style and a greater cause to family diversity
      • Functionalists see marriage as a institution that is under threat and due to higher expectations of marriage
      • Interactionists is all dependant on who you look at for the beneficial, if a abusive father leaves than the children benefit but the mother may not because she now has to work and look after the kids


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