Marriage and Divorce, Conjugal Roles and Power Relationships

  • Created by: Zohaasif
  • Created on: 24-03-23 11:32

Life course- the pattern of family changes that someone goes through during their lifetime.

The family in Britain has gone through a number of changes since the beginning of industrialization, and it continues to change today. Changes in the family could include:

  • Decline in marriage and growth in cohabitation - seculisation- loss of religion
  • Remarriage and the growth of the reconstituted family
  • More births outside marriage
  • Growth of lone parent families
  • Rising divorce rates
  • Decline in family sizes
  • More child centred
  • More symmetrical
  • Changing family functions
  • Weakening of extended kinship links and emergence of privatized nuclear family/modified extended family.

    ○ Marriage can be defined as:

(Marriage= the formal union of a man and woman, man and man or two women, recognised by the law by which they become husband and wife.

-first marriage: a marriage in which neither partner has been married before

-re-marriage: a marriage in which one or both partners have been married before

  • Decreasing numbers in marriage
  • In 2017 there were 242, 842 marriages in the UK with 88% of those having lived together before getting married according to the ONS
  • The average age at marriage of opposite sex couples was 38.0 years for men and 35.7 years for women in 2017
  • In 2017, there were 6932 marriages of same-sex couples of which 56% were between female couples; a further 1072 couples converted their existing civil partnership into marriage.
  • Why do people cohabitate:

-changing attitudes: as society has become more multi cultural, it has also become more opinionated therefore people are more willing to share their own ideologies and others also share the same views sometimes

-effective contraception: before contraception used to be unavailable but now it is available all over. You can get hold of it easier because the NHS takes care of people's sexual health and medication is usually free. There are also different types so people have more of a choice and can choose the ones they are comfortable with.

-changes in parental control, education, housing: the way children are brought up has rapidly changed over time, now children are brought up many different ways depending on the parent and how they choose to raise them.

-due to expansion of higher education it means that a large number of young people are leaving home for reason other than marriage. This results in them being able to make their own choices and live a lifestyle of their choice . This could lead to cohabitation.

  • Threats resulting from alternatives to marriage:

-single parent households- many people now live on their own, this may be because they are divorced or separated or it may just be a deliberate choice of life. ( Single parent households are becoming more common in Britain )

Threats resulting from the breakdown of marriage:

  • Divorce- the legal termination of marriage ( one of the most startling changes in the family in


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