• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Assess the view that marriage is no longer a popular institution in todays postmodernist society

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Assess the view that marriage is no longer a popular institution in today?s postmodernist society According to Marxists and functionalists, in modern society an individual?s identity is largely fixed and can be generalised. Marxists see our identity as stemming from our class position, while functionalists see it as a result of being socialised into a shared culture. However, some sociologists believe we are now moving into a new and very different type of society. The social change, that began to accelerate 300 years ago, has continued at such a pace that the theories and assumptions we had about modern society no longer explain the society we find around us. A postmodern society is a post-industrial society in which change is increasingly rapid, where people have lost faith in the ability of science to bring about progress. While the Rapoports identify a range of types of family diversity, postmodernists such as David Cheal (1993) go much further. Postmodernists argue that we no longer live in the ?modern? world, with its predictable, orderly structures. Instead, society has entered a new chaotic postmodern stage where in today?s society family structures are fragmented and individuals have much more choice in their lifestyles, personal relationships, and family arrangements. As a result family life has become more diverse than even the Rapoports recognise. ...read more.


On the other hand, many couples see cohabitation as a permanent alternative to marriage. This proves that there is less of a traditional social stigma attached to living with someone out of wedlock. Child bearing outside of marriage has also become more common with only a third of people aged 18-24 who think marriage should come before parenthood. Divorce is another major cause of changing family patterns and greater family diversity. For example, most re-marriages involve a divorcee, and divorce creates both lone-parent families and one-parent households. Since the 1960?s there has been an increase in the amount of divorces in the UK, doubling between 1961 and 1999 and doubled again by 1972. The upward trend continued peaking in 1993 at 180,000. Numbers fell slightly since then with 157,000 divorces in 2001- about six times higher than in 1961. This rate means that about 40% of all marriages will end in divorce. The increase in divorce is due to; changes in laws, declining stigma and changing attitudes, secularisation, rising expectations of marriage and the changes in the position of women. Divorce was very difficult to obtain in the 19th century, especially for women. Gradually changes in the law have made divorce easier. When the grounds for divorce were equalised for men and women in 1923, this was followed by a sharp rise in the number of divorce petitions from women. ...read more.


In conclusion I think there are still many people who favour marriage. Although slowly, but surely old beliefs are changing. This phenomenon is triggered by social evolution, no one can stop it. The amount of people who value marriage has decreased due to the changes in society, however, in some cultures such as East Asian, the importance of marriage has remained a necessity for a successful life. However, if people choose different alternatives to marriage and are satisfied with their personal relationships, a legal document shouldn?t make it any less valued or valid. I also agree with the feminist perspective that it?s a positive sign that women are breaking away from the patriarchal family image in which households and relationships are led by men. By breaking away from their control, women are progressing even further with the ideology that both genders should be equal. In the long run I think that marriage will always have valued aspects, but people will continue to have higher expectations and will refuse to subject themselves to anything less than what they think is the perfect union, especially as it?s so much easier to change a relationship status? nowadays as there is far less stigma attached to deciding to cohabit or getting a divorce from an unhappy marriage. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Family & Marriage section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Family & Marriage essays

  1. Is the modern family breaking down or is it simply changing?

    Although there being a high number of single mothers, they were more likely than other groups to have paid employment. Despite this over half the Caribbean families with children were either married or cohabited in long-term relationships. They also studied South Asian families in the same book.

  2. Examine the changes in the rate of divorce since 1969

    However, this is not always the case, as there are more options to solve martial problems without finalising any divorce papers.

  1. According to the functionalist sociologist the family is key institution of society, as it ...

    adults to avoid commitment and responsibility, which is no longer essential for creating stable environment in which to bring up children. They also place blame on government policies, such as welfare benefits particularly supporting lone parents. Rather than help these nuclear families, who are often under privileged, the New Right

  2. Indo-Canadians Dominate with One of the Lowest Divorce Rates Worldwide

    This brought about changes in arranged marriages. These youths introduced their elders to the concept of dating, and love marriage. The older generation of Indians is slowly starting to adapt to a different way of life, a new way. From arranged marriages to love ones, one thing remains the same; the divorce rate has yet to experience any drastic increase.

  1. Arranged marriages

    frequent; one hand to wash the shame of rape and the other to escape prison, it had somehow made this almost unspeakable tragedy in the public sphere. The desperate act of Amina Filali has show the harsh reality and caused a shock in the country.( updated on 15 March 2011,bbc.co.uk, Morocco protest after raped Amina Filali kills herself, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17379721>).

  2. Examine the reasons for the changes in the patterns of marriage, cohabitation and divorce ...

    Many people now view the legal contract of marriage as far less important than the relationship, so the relationship of a cohabiting couple is regarded as just as valid as a married couple. Divorce rates have also increased as a result of changing social attitudes.

  1. Examine the reasons for changing patterns of marriage, cohabitation and divorce in the last ...

    However, some sociologists will point out that greater freedom of choice in relationships means a greater risk of instability, since relationships are likely to break up. Additionally, sociologists may point out that if people decide to put off marriages due to educational requirements, they may end up not marrying at

  2. Gender roles/expectations that exists in contemporary Japanese society

    Men are more and more present in domestic activities and women are more and more able to combine work and house-keeping together. I am sure that now, in the 21st century, the Japanese family is becoming on gender-equality based family!

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work