Nov 5 Cohabitation & Marriage

Nov 5 Cohabitation & Marriage - Cohabitation &...

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Unformatted text preview: Cohabitation & Marriage November 5th, 2007 Types of Romantic Unions Cohabitation and Marriage: Types of Unions "a stable, intimate relationship between two people who live in the same household but may or may not be married" (Cherlin p. 217) What's wrong with this definition? History of Unions: Some Overview Marriage as Duty Marriage for Fulfillment Familial mode of production Urbanization and wage labor, independent living Parental Control Individual Autonomy Before 1900--Courtship; After 1900--Dating Do people still "date"? Is dating today a precursor to marriage? 3 Types of American Marriages Institutional Marriage (Pre1940s) obligations, rules, reproduction, traditional patriarchy Companionate Marriage (1940s to 1970s) friendship, sexual satisfaction, complementariness Individualized Marriage (1970s to the present) selfdevelopment, flexibility, openness, options From role fulfillment to selffufillment Remember: familism and individualism Motivations to Marry Social reinforcement of commitment--"enforceable trust" Marriage as achievement vs. foundation Marriage as symbol of middle class success Marriage as prestige, status symbol Weddings as ritualistic status symbols Marriage as public and personal proof of being loveable Marriage as religious obligation Positive Correlates of Marriage Longer lifespan (for men at least) Less risktaking & heavy use of legal and illegal drugs Higher income and wealth due to pooling income Higher levels of happiness, less anxiety Does marriage cause these things? Positive selection Lack of controls for social support among unmarrieds Could the institution of marriage actually impose harm on single people? Characteristics of American Cohabitation Being poor has always been a correlate of cohabiting Cohabitation become more common since the 1970's Forty percent of births to "single" mothers are actually children born to cohabiting women. Most children in stepfamilies have cohabiting parents Cohabitation has become more legally validated Domestic partnerships Most marriages are preceded by cohabitation. 3 Types of Cohabitation Cohabitation as an Alternative Singlehood Pure relationship Cohabitation as a Marriage Experiment Most U.S. cohabiters expect to marry. Cohabitation as an Alternative to Marriage In many western nations cohabitation has been replacing marriage entirely. ...
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