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Soc Review sheet - all readings

Soc Review sheet - all readings - Summary of Readings...

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Summary of Readings: Cohabitation in the United States: Pamela Smock - This article states that cohabitation is not a deviant activity. - It has become a normal step on the way to marriage. - Working class/ poor people and middle/upper class people cohabitate. - It is seen as a way to get to know each other. - Aggregate groups are people who want to get married, and these people have good relationships. - People who cohabitate and do not intend to marry have bad marriages. - There is a lack of institutionalization, which leads to these people not having a good social support. - We need more research on this topic. - The same explanations used to understand changes in family patterns can be used to explain cohabitation (declining fertility levels, increasing age at marriage, rising marital disruption rates, rising divorce rates, and a growing proportion of children outside of marriage). - Cultural changes in America have had an impact. - 50% of cohabitators view it as a way to ensure they are compatible together, but still premarital cohabitation tends to associate with lower marital quality and higher divorce rate. Explanations for this include the idea that people who cohabitate before marriage have nontraditional vales and attitudes or poor relationship skills and thus increase the risk of instability. Also, the experience of cohabitation alters the characteristics that brought a couple into a cohabitation, thus making them more divorce prone. - Cohabitations in America are either a stage in the marriage process like an engagement or a substitute for marriage which implies that the institution of marriage is threatened and losing its centrality. - 40% of children will live with cohabitating parents in their lives and these children are more likely to experience changes in family structure. Everything’s There Except Money: Pamela Smock - Economic stability prevents people from getting married. - Men’s economic stability is a bigger concern. - Marriage is seen as idealized but it is so constructed around economics. - Economic factors determine when a cohabiting couple will get married. Specifically, the authors note five factors that have an influence on these couples’ decisions on whether or not to marry: - 1/3 of the sample said they’d be married if they had the money or a comfortable enough economic status: one does not marry if one is struggling financially, being debt free before marriage was a big facet of this 1
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- 1/5 of the sample believed having enough money for a “real wedding” to be a factor. - Idea that a set of financially-related goals should be met before going through with marriage: “when we have x, y, and z, we’ll get married” (finishing school, having a good job, having a house, etc) - Concerns about partner’s employment is a salient aspect: 3x as many women wanted to see a change in some aspect of their partner’s job before they would get married: men’s ability to provide for the family/fulfilling the breadwinner role. One aspect as well: women being able to support
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Soc Review sheet - all readings - Summary of Readings...

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