Overview on cohabitation, marriage and divorce

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  • Created by: Laura
  • Created on: 03-12-10 12:35


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.

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  • 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.

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Divorce continued...

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.

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