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What are the different changes in family patterns?

1). Divorce.

2). Marriage.

3). Cohabitation.

4). Lone-parent households.

5). The extended family.


What has been the trend in the number of divorces since the 1960s?

1961 - 1969 = doubled.

1969 - 1972 = doubled again.


Which year did the number of divorces peak?

1972 = 165,000.


What happened to the number of divorces in 2012?

Fallen = 118,000.

- due to = fewer people are marrying (choosing to cohabitate instead).


What percentage of marriages end in a divorce?



What percentage of divorces come from women?


1947 = 37%.


What are the explanations for the increase in divorce?

1). Changes in the law.

2). Declining stigma and changing attitudes.

3). Secularisation.

4). Higher expectations of marriage.

5). Women's increased financial independence.


What are the 3 kinds of changes in the laws that made divorce easier for women in the 20th Century?

1). Equalising the grounds for divorce between the sexes.

2). Widening the grounds for divorce (making divorce easier to obtain).

3). Making divorce cheaper.


When did these law changes occur?

- Equalising the grounds = 1923.

- Widening the ground = 1971.

- Making divorce cheaper (legal aid) = 1949.


What is stigma?

Negative label, disapproval or shame attached to a person or group.


What has caused the decline in stigma?

Churches used to condemn divorce, however, churches have a lower influence in society now.


How has the decline in stigma led to an increase of divorce?

Divorce has become more accepted =

- people are more likely to resort to it.

- normalising divorce further reduces the stigma.


What is secularisation?

The decline in the influence of religion in society.


How has secularisation led to an increase of divorce?

Churches oppose divorce =

- many people aren't influenced by the church to get divorced or not.

- churches are gradually accepting divorce, making it easier.


Who says higher expectations of marriage has led to more divorce?

Fletcher (19660 - functionalist.


How has higher expectations of marriage led to an increase in divorce?

Before =

people married with little choice, the family was a unit of consumption.

Now =

people marry for love, if love dies, people divorce; people are more dissatisfied with marriage.


Why are functionalists optimistic about marriage?

The high rate of re-marriage shows divorcees haven't fully rejected marriage.


How has women's greater financial independence led to an increase in divorce?

- Women are now in paid work.

- More lone-parent families.

- This makes women less economically dependent on men, so can afford divorce.


What is the feminist explanation on divorce?

- Women perform a dual burden at home.

- Although their position has improved at work, if has been sow at home.

- So women perform a triple shift (unequal).


What does Hochschild (1997) say the reason for higher divorces are?

- Women are unequal at home (men are reluctant to do housework).

- This makes marriage unstable and women get frustrated.

- So they want a divorce.


What statistics does the feminist explanation help explain?

Why 70% of divorce petitions are from women.


Who proposes the modernity reason for divorce?

Beck and Giddens (1992).


What is the modernity explanation for more divorces?

Greater individualisation.

- traditional norms (having the same partner for life) lose their hold.

- so people become unwilling to stay married if their marriage fails.

- people pursue self-interest instead.


What does the New Right say the effects of divorce is on society?

- it undermines the nuclear family (need for social stability).

- creates an underclass of welfare-dependent female lone-parents who are a burden.

- these lone-parents inadequately socialise their children.


What do feminists say the effects of divorce is on society?

Desirable =

- shows women breaking free from patriarchy.


What do postmodernists say the effects of divorce is on society?

- shows freedom of individuals to choose to end a relationship.

- see it as a major cause of family diversity.


What is the Interactionist perspective on divorce?

Aim to understand its meaning to the individual.

- can't generalise it's meaning.

- domestic violence; it can be good to have a divorce.


What is the personal life perspective on divorce?

It can cause financial and childcare issues =

- however, it has become 'normalised', and we should see it as a transitional life course (positive).


What statistics show fewer people are marrying?

2012 = 175,000 (half of 1970).


What statistics show there are more re-marriages?

2012 = 1/3 of all marriages were re-marriages.