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Flashcards in Changing Family Patterns Deck (62)
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What is stigma?

The negative label, social disapproval or shame attached to a person, action or relationship.


Why has the stigma surrounding divorce decreased?

- The fact that divorce is more common begins to normalise it and reduces the stigma attached to it.

- In today's society, it's more likely regarded as a misfortune rather than shameful.


Define secularisation.

The decline in the influence of religion in society.


Why might secularisation lead to more divorce?

The traditional opposition of the churches to divorce carries less weight in society and people are less likely to be influenced by religious teachings when making decisions about personal matters.


Why do couples have higher expectations of marriage today?

- The ideology of romantic love: the belief that marriage should be solely based on love.

- Higher expectations make couples less willing to tolerate an unhappy marriage.


Why are functionalists optimistic about marriage despite higher divorce rates?

Most adults marry, and the high rate of re-marriage after divorce shows that although divorcees have become dissatisfied with a particular partner, they haven't rejects marriage as an institution.


What aspect of rising divorce rates do functionalists fail to explain?

Why it is mainly women rather than men who seek divorce.


Give four reasons for women's increased financial independence today.

- Women today are much more likely to be in paid work. The proportion of women working rose from 53% in 1971 to 67% in 2013.

- Although women generally still earn less than men, equal pay and anti-discrimination laws have helped to narrow the pay gap.

- Girls' greater success in education now helps them achieve better-paid jobs that previous generations.

- The availability of welfare benefits means that women no longer have to remain financially dependent on their husbands.


What role does the dual burden play in causing an increased divorce rate?

In the view of feminists, this (dual burden) has created a new source of conflict between husbands and wives, and this is leading to a higher divorce rate than in the past.


According to radical feminists, why are women more likely to file for divorce?

Women are becoming conscious of patriarchal oppression and more confident about rejecting it.


How does individualism contribute to a higher divorce rate?

- In modern society, traditional norms, such as the duty to remain with the same partner for life, lose their hold over individuals.
- Individuals become unwilling to remain with a partner if the relationship fails to deliver personal fulfillment.


What is the effect of high divorce rate from a new right perspective?

- Creates a growing underclass of welfare-dependent female lone parents who are a burden on the state and it leaves boys without the adult male role model needed.

- Results in poorer health and educational outcomes for children.


What is the effect of high divorce rate from a feminist perspective?

It shows that women are breaking free from the oppression of the patriarchal nuclear family.


What is the effect of high divorce rate from a postmodernist and individualisation thesis perspective?

- Individuals now have the freedom to choose to end a relationship when it no longer meets their needs.
- Major cause for greater family diversity.


What is the effect of high divorce rate from a functionalist perspective?

- Result of peoples higher expectations of marriage today.
- High rate of re-marriage shows people's continuing commitment to the idea of marriage.


What is the effect of high divorce rate from a interactionist perspective?

- Aim to understand what divorce means to the individual.

- Morgan: we can't generalise about the meaning of divorce bc every individuals interpretation is different.

- Mitchell and Goody (interviews): one person describe the day her father left as the best day of her life. Another said she never recovered.


What is the effect of high divorce rate from the personal life perspective?

They accept that divorce can cause problems, such as financial difficulties and lack of daily contact between children and non-resident parents.


Identify four changes in the pattern of marriage in recent years.

- Fewer people marrying: marriage at lowest since 1920s. 2012: 175,000 first marriages (both partners) - less than half for 1970.

- More remarriages. 2012: 1/3 of all marriages were remarriages. Leading to 'serial monogamy'.

- People marrying later: average age of first marriage rose by 7 yrs between 1971+2012, when it stood at 32 y/o (men) + 30 y/o (women).

- Couples are less likely to marry in church. 1981: 60% of weddings were conducted w/ religious ceremonies. 2012: 30%.


Summarise the following reason for changes in first marriages:
- Changing attitudes to marriage.

- Less pressure to marry + more freedom in relationship choice.
- Widespread belief: quality of couples relationship more important than legal status.
- Norm of everyone getting married has weakened.


Summarise the following reason for changes in first marriages:
- Secularisation.

- Churches in favour of marriage but influence weakening.
- People feel freer to not marry.
- 2001 Census: 3% young people w/ no religion were married, against 17% w/ a religion.


Summarise the following reason for changes in first marriages:
- Declining stigma attached to alternatives to marriage.

- Cohabitation, remaining single + children outside marriage widely regarded as acceptable.
- Pregnancy no longer automatically means 'shotgun marriage'
- 1989: 70%


Summarise the following reason for changes in first marriages:
- Changes in the position of women.

- Better educational and career prospects
- Many women less economically dependent on men
- Greater freedom to not marry
- Feminists: marriage is an oppressive patriarchal institution
- This may dissuade some women from marrying


Summarise the following reason for changes in first marriages:
- Fear of divorce.

With the rising divorce rate, some may be put off marrying because they see the likelihood of marriage ending in divorce.


Why have remarriages increased?

- The rise in the number of divorce.
- Rising number of divorcees provides supply of people available to remarry.


Why are couples marrying at a later age?

- Young people postponing marriage to spend longer in full-time education.
- Career first
- More couples cohabiting before marrying.


Give two reasons why couples today may be less likely to get married in church.

- Secularisation
- Many churches refuse to marry divorcees and divorcees may have less desire to marry in church.


Define cohabitation.

Cohabitation involves an unmarried couple in a sexual relationship living together.


Note four patterns of cohabitation.

- Cohabiting couples with children are a fast growing family type.

- 2.9 million cohabiting heterosexual couples in Britain. About 1 in 8 adults are cohabiting (double number in 1996).

- Estimated 69,000 same-sex cohabiting couples.

- About a fifth of all those cohabiting are 'serial cohabitants' who have had one or more previous cohabitations.


Give four reasons for the increase in cohabitation.

- The decline in stigma attached to sex outside marriage. 1989: 44% agreed that 'premarital sex isn't wrong at all'. 2012: 65% agreed.

- Young are more likely to accept cohabitation.

- Increased career opportunities for women: less need for the financial security of marriage + freer to opt for cohabitation.

- Secularisation: young people w/ no religion are more likely to cohabit than those with a religion.


Identify two different ways in which cohabitation may be seen by couples.

- A step on the way to getting married.
- A permanent alternative to marriage.