Three types of cohabitation..
- Long term
- Short term
- Trial marriage
Coleman et al (2000) - state that cohabitation delayes marriage, not replaces it.
Bernades (1997) - most people get married at some point in their life.
Dramatic increase in cohabitation - by 2002 over 1/4 of non-married people in Britain were cohabiting.
Statistics show that you are more likely to cohabit if your parents are divorced.
British attitudes survey (2001) - Found that marriage is largely valued, although cohabiation is seen as legitimate.
- Divorce - Legal termination of marriage
- Seperation - Physical seperation between two spouses
- Empty shell - Spouses remain living together although their marriage exists in name only.
Chandler - Approx 40% of all marriages will end in divorce.
Parsons + Fletcher (functionalists) - Argue that marriage today is over valued meaning that people expect/demand more from it, this therefore leads to maritial breakdown.
Leach (1967) - The nuclear family suffers from emotional overload which the increases the level of conflict between family members. (Marital breakdown --> modernity, freedom + choice)
Gibson (1994) - Modernity --> lead to development of increasing individual achievments. (If you don't find satisfaction in your first partner you can seek an alternative.
The ease of divorce...
- Secularisation - decline in religious values. (Gibson 1994 - Decline in religious values has weakened the religious belief which binds a couple together and therefore makes divorce more likely)
- Changes in attitudes
- Changes in law
- Less social stigma
Feminists argue that divorce is a good thing because it gives women an option to end their marriage if the wish to do so.