Marriage and Cohabitation / Edition 1

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Overview

Situating their argument in the context of the Western world’s 500-year history of marriage, the authors of this work reveal what factors encourage marriage and cohabitation in a contemporary society where marriage and the relationships between women and men have changed dramatically.

While many people still choose to marry without first cohabiting, others elect to cohabit with varying degrees of commitment or intentions of eventual marriage. The authors’ controversial findings suggest that family history, religious affiliation, values, projected education, lifetime earnings, and career aspirations all tip the scales in favor of either cohabitation or marriage. This book lends new insight into young adult relationship patterns and will be of interest to sociologists, historians, and demographers alike.

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Editorial Reviews

European Journal of Population - Kathleen Kiernan
"A brave attempt at providing a review of the history of the development of marriage and cohabitation in prior centuries and of utilising the life histories of a generation of parents and children who live out their lives across much of the twentieth century to benchmark, illustrate and facilitate our understanding of the meaning of marriage and cohabitation."
Journal of Population Research - Lixia Qu
"The book will be of interest to researchers in family-related fields. The literature review is extensive, the presentations of statistical modelling results are easy to understand, and the findings regarding possible intergenerational influences on union formation pathways are insightful."
Choice
"What is noteworthy is the importance of intergenerational factors in people's decisions on cohabitation and marriage. This book is an important scholarly contribution to understanding marriage and family in the US, with many interesting insights and interpretations concerning the growing phenomenon of premarital cohabitation. . . . Highly recommended."
European Journal of Population
A brave attempt at providing a review of the history of the development of marriage and cohabitation in prior centuries and of utilising the life histories of a generation of parents and children who live out their lives across much of the twentieth century to benchmark, illustrate and facilitate our understanding of the meaning of marriage and cohabitation.

— Kathleen Kiernan

Journal of Population Research
The book will be of interest to researchers in family-related fields. The literature review is extensive, the presentations of statistical modelling results are easy to understand, and the findings regarding possible intergenerational influences on union formation pathways are insightful.

— Lixia Qu

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226798660
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 7/15/2007
  • Series: Population and Development Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Arland Thornton is professor of sociology and a research professor at the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Reading History Sideways, also published by the University of Chicago Press. William G. Axinn is professor of sociology at the University of Michigan and a research professor at the ISR. Yu Xie is the Otis Dudley Duncan Professor of Sociology and Statistics at the University of Michigan and a research professor at the ISR.

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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     vii
Historical and Conceptual Issues     1
Introduction     3
Historical Perspectives on Marriage     24
Comparing Marriage, Cohabitation, and Being Single     76
Entering Marital and Cohabiting Unions     92
Parental Factors during Childhood and Adolescence     113
Influence of Parental Youth Factors before Birth of Study Child     115
Influence of Parental Factors during Childhood and Adolescence of the Children     155
Parent and Child Factors during the Children's Young Adulthood     181
The Courtship Process and Union Formation     183
Religious Affiliation and Commitment     210
The Influence of Attitudes, Values, and Beliefs     225
Educational Influences     265
Work, Earnings Potential, and Career Aspiration     286
Integration and Summary of Effects     303
Conclusions     305
Technical Explanation of Estimation of Total, Direct, and Indirect Effects     333
Conceptualizing and Estimating Union Formation Rates     352
Description of Measures Used in Chapters 5 through 11     356
Constructing Measures of Earnings Potential for Use in Chapter 11     369
Notes     373
Bibliography     391
Index     429
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