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

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

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by Andrew J. Cherlin
     
 

The Marriage-Go-Round illuminates the shifting nature of America's most cherished social institution and explains its striking differences from marriage in other Western countries.

Andrew J. Cherlin's three decades of study have shown him that marriage in America is a social and political battlefield in a way that it isn’t in other developed countries.

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Overview

The Marriage-Go-Round illuminates the shifting nature of America's most cherished social institution and explains its striking differences from marriage in other Western countries.

Andrew J. Cherlin's three decades of study have shown him that marriage in America is a social and political battlefield in a way that it isn’t in other developed countries. Americans marry and divorce more often and have more live-in partners than Europeans, and gay Americans have more interest in legalizing same-sex marriage. The difference comes from Americans’ embrace of two contradictory cultural ideals: marriage, a formal commitment to share one's life with another; and individualism, which emphasizes personal choice and self-development. Religion and law in America reinforce both of these behavioral poles, fueling turmoil in our family life and heated debate in our public life. Cherlin’s incisive diagnosis is an important contribution to the debate and points the way to slowing down the partnership merry-go-round.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307386380
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/06/2010
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
682,897
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 3

1 How American Family Life Is Different 13

2 The Historical Origins of the American Pattern, 1650-1900 36

3 The Rise of the Companionate Marriage, 1900-1960 63

4 The Individualized Marriage and the Expressive Divorce, 1960-2000 87

5 The American Way of Marriage 116

6 The M-Factor 144

7 Blue-Collar Blues/White-Collar Weddings 159

8 Slow Down 181

Appendix: Charts 203

Notes 213

Bibliography 237

Index 255

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