Factors Affecting Divorce

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  • Changes in the Law
    • 1969/71 - Divorce Law Reform Act
    • Evaluate sociological contributions to our understanding of the trends in divorce in the UK since 1970
      • Declining Stigma, Changing Attitudes and Secularisation
        • 1960s - churches condemned divroce
          • Churches started to soften views
        • Mitchell and Goody - declinging stigma = divorce more socially acceptable
        • However, ethnic minorities aren't secular, they may not divorce
      • The Rising Expectations of Marriage
        • Used to be about business, now love
        • Fletcher - marriage isn't what people expect = divorce
        • Allan and Crow - things aren't going perfectly = justify ending marriage
        • However, some ethnic minorities don't have a choice on marriage
      • Women's Increased Financial Independence
        • Delaying/ having less children
          • Still working and earning money
        • Girls are doing better than boys at school
          • Decline of 'men's jobs' and increase in services
        • Allan and Crow - marriage isn't embedded in economic system
          • Spouses aren't dependent on eachother
        • However, wages aren't fully equal, which is limiting but improving
      • Modernity and Individualisation
        • People being less motivated to work at marriage
          • Socially acceptable
        • Individualisation - people investing in themselves rather than marriage
          • Marriage cant satisfy interests = divorce
        • Rejection of traditional relationships in pursuit of individual interests
      • Feminist Explanations
        • Women doing paid + house work = conflict = divorce
        • Hochschild - both partners working = less emotional work = divorce
        • Sigle-Rushton - paid and domestic women = divorce
          • Cook and Gash - no evidence of this = norm
          • Patriarchal = men benefit from wives
          • Bernard - women accept feminist ideas + reject patriarchal ideas = rising divorce rate
    • However, societal factors limit this


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