Changing Patterns of Family Life: Divorce



- In 2018, there were 90,000 divorces in the United Kingdom of opposite-sex couples and 428 same-sex divorces.

- In 1971, there were 74,000 divorces in the year the Divorce Reform Act came into place.

- In 1993, the number of divorces peaked at 165,000 following a rapid rise from 1971 onwards- this continued to fall throughout the 1990s and the early part of the 21st century.

Reasons for the Increse in Divorce

- Changing attitudes to relationships.

- Reduced stigma and secularisation.

- Increased life expectancy.

- Changing gender roles.

- Growing individualism in society.

Changing Attitudes to Relationships

- Giddens' suggested that confluent love has replaced romantic love and people are more willing to leave partners in search of greater fulfilment.

- Beck suggested that the family is negotiated in late modern society and if conditions placed upon the relationships are broken, a divorce ensues.

- There are higher expectations of marriage, while divorce has decline in recent years and so have marriages, people demand more satisfaction from relationships.

Reduced Stigma and Secularisation

- The process of secularisation has led to people no longer being guided by morality of the church and therefore, making their own…


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