family_lec5 - 9/16/2010 Marriage and Cohabitation Sociology...

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9/16/2010 1 Sociology of the Family Lecture 5 Prof. Mouzon Marriage and Cohabitation 1 Measures of Marital Success Marital stability : whether or not the marriage remains intact Disadvantages of this measure? Marital quality : how spouses describe/evaluate the character of their relationship Marital quality between 1980-2000 (Amato et al., 2007): Less couple interaction (-) Less marital conflict (+) Fewer marital problems (+) Same levels of marital happiness (+) Same levels of divorce proneness (-) Women had less positive evaluations of marriages at both time points (-) 2 Predictors of High Marital Quality Shared social characteristics : socioeconomic status, age, race and intelligence Economic /personal resources : couples with higher income, education, and occupational status have better marital quality. Dual-earner couples : More likely to live a middle class lifestyle Egalitarian division of household labor 3
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9/16/2010 2 Predictors of High Marital Quality Role fit : degree of consensus between spouses on important issues Social class : Overall trend is toward a more egalitarian marriage; however, working class couples are more likely than middle class couples to accept traditional roles. Children: Marriage satisfaction tends to be greater before and after children. Life Cycle: Marital quality tends to decline over the life course 4 Marital Power The ability to exercise one’s will Two types: Personal power (autonomy) Social power: will over others Objective aspects of marital power: Decision-making Division of labor Allocation of money Sense of empowerment 5 The Role of Equity A subjective measure of marital power Deals with fairness in marriage Not complete overlap with objective measures of power Equity is not completely synonymous with equality Both objective and subjective power measures matter (for marital quality, marital commitment, and divorce risk) but subjective perceptions of equity matter most 6
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9/16/2010 3 Six Types of Social Power 1. Coercive power : dominant person’s ability and willingness to punish the partner 2. Reward power : ability to give gifts/favors 3. Expert power : dominant person’s superior judgment, knowledge, or ability 7 Six Types of Social Power 4. Informational power : persuasive content of information given by dominant partner 5. Referent power : based on personal’s emotional identification with the partner 6. Legitimate power : dominant partner’s ability to claim authority/request compliance 8 9
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9/16/2010 4 Classic Perspectives on Marital Power: Resource Hypothesis Husbands and Wives: The Dynamics of Married Living (Blood More resources = more marital power Interviews among white middle-class wives in greater Detroit area Focus on “final decision - making power” Women’s power increased as children aged, as she entered
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 920:272 taught by Professor Mouzon during the Fall '09 term at Rutgers.

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family_lec5 - 9/16/2010 Marriage and Cohabitation Sociology...

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