Soc 354, Week 11 notes
Soc 354, Week 11 notes Soc 354
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Clarissa Hinshaw on Wednesday April 13, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Soc 354 at Northern Illinois University taught by Jan Reynolds in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Families and Social Change in Sociology at Northern Illinois University.
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Date Created: 04/13/16
Chapter 8 Marriage and Cohabitation Marriage has become more diverse, but is still very unequal. Social changes affect families as well. More people are marrying older or not at all, which rates vary by race. Marriage rates are higher among people with college degrees. Fall appreciation and rising ideal for marriage have both contributed to its decline. Economic independence lessens people’s need to marry and economic hardships lessens a person’s mate choices. Factors often considered in a mate are race, religion, and education level. A marriage squeeze happens when women date older men and find less options as a result. Black women value men who are good providers more than white women. Participating in higher education often results in people marrying at older ages. This is called the transition into adulthood or emerging adulthood. People still marry because of economic and political incentives, social pressure, and initiation (conformity). Some sociologists compare the marriage market to the marketplace, shopping for what they like or can afford. o This assumes of marriage being voluntary and of there being competition of the spouse market. Men tend to marry women with more beauty and less money. They also look at a woman’s motherhood potential. People of lower status tend to marry people of higher status (blacks and whites) when they have less $ than their mate. Sometimes a person’s desire may be conflict. Ex: liking someone who is hot but has no life goals. Sometimes people marry the wrong person because they are blinded by love. They also don’t have access to all the options out there, so they may never know if they have found the right person. Marriage market: how and where people look for longterm love. There are often boundaries such as race, education, and religion. People in larger groups are more likely within their group. Ex: white people marrying other white people. Marrying a black person is most likely to cause disapproval amongst other races. It is expected of people with college degrees to marry someone with the same level of education. There used to be more concern about marrying someone of different religion than interracial marriage. Cohabitation: living with a significant other whom you are not married to. This isn’t always clearly defined because some couples only live together part time and there isn’t always a clear start or end date. Living together prior to marriage is the most common arrangement. It is now an expected stage in a relationship. can sometimes cause couples to marry before they are ready. Some live together for financial reasons. Some plan to marry when they have more money, but some may split up because of financial stress. Some couples don’t believe in marriage. Some families may not approve of some couples marrying. Cohabitation is sometimes a compromise for couples who aren’t on the same page about marriage. Many divorced couples cohabitate instead of marrying again because it carries less risk. They want to protect their assets more than receive the financial benefits of marriage. They usually have separate finances until they have been together for a long time. They are often happier in their relationships than married couples. A lifelong commitment is often difficult to picture for independent people. Keys to a happy marriage: lifelong commitment, success, emotional support, and security. Research on married couples often asks them if their marriage is happy and emotionally healthy. White people and men feel happier in marriage than black people and women. The gender difference comes from men being socialized to benefit more from marriage. Couples with more $ report being happier in their relationships because of less financial stress. Samesex couples are just as happy in their relationships as heterosexual couples. There is a directionality issue with studies observing relationship happiness and continuing a relationship. Single people are happier than people in unhappy relationships. Selection effect: when the outcome comes before the cause. The government contributes to marriage rates by providing financial benefits to married couples, and through samesex marriage laws. The government believes providing Temporary Assistants for Needy Families (TANF) will encourage mother to either get a job or get married. Concerns about this include the government forcing people to stay in unhealthy marriages and the trend could also be reversed by teaching independence to the poor. Critics provide other solutions for this such as raising the minimum wage and helping with childcare. The efforts the government has made to promote marriage have failed and made no difference on whether couples marry. Before 1970, there was no controversy over samesex marriage because gay voices were not heard. The Stonewall Riots changed this. Marriage wasn’t issue in the gay rights movement until the 1990’s. Don’t Ask Don’t was initiated during this period and appealed in 2010. Many states banned samesex marriage when it wasn’t illegal before. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was initiated during this time and repealed 3 years ago. Some conservatives believe allowing samesex couples to marriage takes the traditional meaning out of marriage. People supportive of samesex marriage argue the benefits married couples receive.
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