Marriage-Go-Round The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today

ISBN-10: 0307266893

ISBN-13: 9780307266897

Edition: 2009

Authors: Andrew J. Cherlin

List price: $25.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description:

From one of the nation's leading experts on the American family, a book that explores the state of marriage in America today; its evolution culturally; and with regard to religion and the law, how and why the present state of marriagea merry-go-round of partnershipsdeveloped, and the implications for parents and children. During Andrew J. Cherlin's three decades of study and analysis of family life, he came to see that marriage in the United States was different than in other Western countriesWestern Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealandin a way that no one was writing about. He realized that marriage in America, unlike in other countries in the world, was seen as a cultural idael, and the U.S. government was spending money to promote its continuation. The institution of marriage had become a social and political battlefield. Cherlin writes that Americans marry more repeatedly and have more live-in partners; that marriage and remarriage, frequent divorce, and short-term cohabiting relationships have resulted in a core upheaval in American family life; and that American children have been left to cope with the frequent and disruptive comings and goings of parents. He writes that Americans have come to embrace two contradictory models of personal and family life: marriage, a formal commitment to share one's life with another; and individualism, which emphasizes personal growth and development. The former promotes a lasting relationship; the latter encourages one to move on. Each model is culturally reinforced by two basic, powerful institutions: religion and law. Cherlin writes about the inconsistency of American religion and law with regard to family life. He argues that contemporary religion, although supportive of marriage, embraces the quest for self-development. And he makes clear that family law, which used to be centered on marriage, is today focused on the individual and his or her obligations to children. He discusses the movement and civil struggle for same-sex marriage in America as opposed to in many European countries, where marriage is seen by gay couples as an oppressive heterosexual institution. A fascinating book that illuminates the shifting nature of America's oldest and most cherished social institution, the subject of intense and ever-increasing national debate.
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Book details

List price: $25.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 4/14/2009
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.188
Language: English

Andrew J. Cherlin is the Benjamin H. Griswold III Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University and is the author ofPublic and Private Families. His articles have appeared inThe New York Times Magazine, The Nation,and on the op-ed pages ofThe New York Times, The Washington Post,and other publications. He has been a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the Distinguished Career Award from the Family Section of the American Sociological Association. He lives in Baltimore. From the Hardcover edition.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
How American Family Life Is Different
The Historical Origins of the American Pattern, 1650-1900
The Rise of the Companionate Marriage, 1900-1960
The Individualized Marriage and the Expressive Divorce, 1960-2000
The American Way of Marriage
The M-Factor
Blue-Collar Blues/White-Collar Weddings
Slow Down
Appendix: Charts
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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