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The deinstitutionalization of marriage - Essay Example

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The family as a social institution gave a concept of a person, one and one women that are legally married to have children and to share their life with one another and they are committed to the life of monogamy (Howe). But the changes have been made over time, which has made the marriages deinstitutionalized. In my view, as consistent with the study of Cherlin in 2004, the change had started to occur when the changing in the division of labor took place in the families. The roles of a breadwinner and homemaker suddenly took a shift when the women entered the paid labor force and the men would carry out the home work which increased the process of childbearing outside marriage and cohabitation which I believe can also be termed as the social factor which led to the changes of the traditional norms of marriage. Since the early 1970’s, the cohabitation increased in the adult life, which has become more prevalent in today’s world which generates complexities in the stepfamilies and according to me it plays a major role in the deinstitutionalization of marriages because the new union and cohabitating does not involve marriage. This also results in the increasing number of stepfamilies and also in the increasing number of first marriages that involves stepfamilies I believe that people are accepting cohabitating as an alternative to marriage because the percentage of cohabiting unions that ends up in getting married has dropped from 60% to 33% in 3 years as discussed in the study of Cherlin. I believe that cohabitation is becoming more institutionalized than marriages and the government is providing the cohabiting couples with more rights than the couples that are married which also constitutes to the factors that promotes the deinstitutionalization of marriages. The other factor is the emergence of same sex marriage in the society, which was made legal in 2004. The sociologists refer to as ‘family of choice’ in which two individuals are getting married that are not biologically or legally related which is disrupting the institutionalization of marriage. In the relation to the study of Cherlin in 2004, the great Depression and World War II also played its part in these changes, which changed the meaning of marriage. During that era, marriage was only considered to be the socially acceptable way to have sexual relationship and to raise children and no one cohabitated with the partner. In that era the baby boom started when the young adults were married at younger ages. But after the post World War II, the dominance for the marriage dropped to a surprising level. Cohabitation was accepted as well as the child bearing outside marriage. The divorce and the birth rate rose and the same sex unions got more acceptances in the society (Cherlin). As I believe, the roles of husbands and wives became more flexible which opened the room for negotiation, which led to individualized marriage. I consider there is an important role and function of children in the deinstitutionalization of marriage. The couples that have decided to cohabit tend to have unstable living arrangements and their stepchildren are less likely to get attention from the family members than married couples. The children that experiences parental cohabitation normally face two major issues. First, the cohabiting partners generally have less economic ...Show more
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[Supervisor’s name] The deinstitutionalization of marriage In 2004, Cherlin argues in the paper about the changing approach of American people towards the concept of marriage and they are abolishing the practice of marriage that was considered as a norm over the past decade…
The deinstitutionalization of marriage
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