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Examine the reasons for changes in the patterns of marriage, cohabitation and divorce in the last 30 years.

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Introduction

SOCIOLOGY EXAM Examine the reasons for changes in the patterns of marriage, cohabitation and divorce in the last 30 years. Throughout the study of sociology, one of the most important studies has been that of a family. Theorists such as Young and Wilmott, Talcott Parsons and even Karl Marx have tried to explain the evolution of the family, why certain patterns exist. However, looking at the area of marriage, divorce and cohabitation, it is really in the last 30 years of study that the major changes have occurred. There is an ever growing increase in the divorce rate, people are living together without being married for longer and marriage is being seen more and more as a legal contract. ...read more.

Middle

Mutual agreement was becoming more common, as if a woman was in an unhappy relationship, she could decide on a court settlement, which could cost the man a lot more than a normal out of court settlement. Also, these changes in laws have lead to another factor in changing relationship patterns, cohabitation. It is very much the case these days that 2 people can live together without being married and have children while still being considered normal. This has proved to be a grey area in the past, as it has been frowned upon in many areas of society. In the past, if a child's parents were not married, the child would have been seen as being different from the "normal" families, but in modern day society, there are many children who have single parents, reconstituted families or unmarried parents. ...read more.

Conclusion

There was also the fact that it was frowned upon cohabiting and that is was seen as a sin, whereas in modern times it's the stage most people see before marriage or just while with a partner, as it is also financially more supportive than living alone. Most of these changes that have been looked at are to do with laws and norms and values. But also the connotations with words such as unmarried parents, single mother and cohabitation have changed. In the past they carried negative meanings, like unreliable, poor and living in sin. However, recently they have been accepted as part of society and now make up a large part of society as a whole. Jonathan Mowjoudi 12EJ ...read more.

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