Sociology- Divorce

  • Created by: Daisymac
  • Created on: 14-03-19 11:48
View mindmap
  • Divorce
    • Changing patterns of divorce
      • Since 60s, has been a significant increase in the no. of divorces
      • Number of divorces doubled between 1961 and 69
      • The divorce rate in 2012 was 6 times higher than in 1961
      • Fall in divorces since the 1990s
        • As less people are marrying and cohabit instead
    • Changes in law
      • Changes in law
        • Equalising the grounds for divorce between sexes
          • 1923
        • Widening the grounds for divorce
          • Produced a doubling of divorce rate almost overnight
        • Making divorce cheaper
          • Introduction of legal aid for divorce cases in 1949 lowered cost of divorces
      • Other solutions to being in an unhappy marriage
        • Desertion-- When one partner leaves the other but the couple remain married
        • Legal separation-- When a court separates the financial and legal affairs of the couple but they remain married
        • Empty shell marriage-- Where the couple continue to live under the same roof but remain married in name only
    • Declining stigma and changing attitudes
      • Refers to the negative label, social disapproval or shame attached to a person
      • Churches condemned divorce and often refused to conduct marriage services involving divorcees
      • Mitchell and Goody 1997 note that an important change is the decline in stigma attached to divorce
      • Divorce is becoming normalised
    • Secularisation
      • Decline in the influence of religion in society
      • Many argue that religious institutions are losing their influence and society is becoming more secular
      • People are less likely to be influenced by religious teachings when making decisions about divorce
      • Many churches have begun to soften their views on divorce
    • Rising expectations of marriage
      • Functionalist Fletcher 1966 argue that higher expectations of marriage are a major cause of rising divorces
      • Linked to the ideology of romantic love -- That marriage should be solely based on love
      • See that if love dies, there is no longer any justification for remaining married
      • In past , marriages were for economic reasons -- Less romantic
      • today  marriage is not seen as a binding contract
      • Functionalists point out that lots of adults remarry, showing they have not rejected marriage as an institution
      • Feminists criticise this and argue that the oppression of women within the family is the main cause of divorce
      • Functionalists fail to explain more women than men seek divorce
    • Women's increased financial independence
      • 78% of women in 2017 are engaged in paid work
      • Pay gap is narrowing
      • Girls get better qualifications in school= getter job positions
      • Welfare benefits means women don't have to remain financially dependent on men
      • Allan and Crow argue that 'marriage is less embedded within the economic system' now
    • Feminist explanations
      • Argue that married women today bear a dual burden and this has created a new source of conflict leading to divorce
      • Feminists argue that in the private sphere of family and personal relationships, change has been limited and slow
      • Hochschild 1997 argues that for many women, the home compares unfavourably with work
        • As both partners now to work, it leaves less time to do emotional work --> divorce
      • Sigle-Rushton 2007 argues mothers who have a dual burden are more likely to divorce than non working mothers
      • Cooke and Gash 2010 found no evidence that working women are more likely to divorce
      • Radical feminist Bernard 1976 argued that many women feel a growing dissatisfaction with patriarchal marriage and says divorce represents women accepting feminist ideas
    • Modernity and Individualisation
      • Beck 1992 and Giddens 1992 argue that in modern society, traditional norms lose their hold over individuals
      • Means relationships= more fragile as individuals are unwilling to stay with a partner if the relationship fails to provide personal fulfilment
        • Means that individuals become free to pursue their own self interest--> Individualisation thesis
          • Beck 1992 and Giddens 1992 argue that in modern society, traditional norms lose their hold over individuals
      • Pure relationships (Giddens)- Exists solely to satisfy each partner's needs and not out of a sense of duty, tradition, or for the sake of children
      • Modern society encourages individualism as women are expected to work as well as men and pursue their own career ambitions --- Marital breakdown
    • Meaning of high divorce rate
      • The new right
        • High divorce rate= undesirable as it undermines marriage and traditional nuclear family
        • High divorce rate creates a growing underclass of welfare dependent female lone parents  who are a burden on the state
      • feminists
        • See high divorce rate as desirable as it shows women are breaking free from the oppression of a patriarchal nuclear family
      • Postmodernists and individualisation thesis
        • See divorce as showing individuals have more freedom to choose when to end a relationship when it no longer meets their needs
      • Functionalists
        • High divorce rate is not necessarily a threat to marriage as a social institution
        • Its the result of higher expectations of marriage
      • Interactionists
        • To understand  what divorce means to individual
        • Morgan 1996 argues we cannot generalise the meaning of divorce
      • Personal life
        • Accepts divorce can cause problems and lack of contact between children and parents
        • But smart 2011 said that divorce has become normalised

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Sociology resources:

See all Sociology resources »See all Families and households resources »