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The Ties That Bindwas organized to review and assess the scientific evidence about the causes of trends in marriage and other forms of intimate unions. The contributors address these two questions: What do we know about the factors that influence the formation of marriages and other intimate unions, the timing of union formation, and the forms that unions take? What factors explain the dramatic changes in union formation we have observed over recent decades? Edited by Linda J. Waite. Co-edited by Christine Bachrach, Michelle Hindin, Elizabeth Thomson, and Arland Thornton.
“Marriage and cohabitation may be seen as assets, in some ways like wealth. Like wealth, there are aspects of choice and constraint in the determination of who gets these relationships. Who enters and stays in marriage or cohabitation, and the relative gains or losses that result, are structured by gender in ways that differ across racial/ethnic and other groupings. For better or for worse, married and cohabitating people have things that others do not. Understanding what those things are and how they are changing is crucial to figuring out why there have been such dramatic developments in recent decades in the rates of non-marital cohabitation, later marriage timing and more people not married, and the disassociation of childbirth and childrearing from married relationships. The Ties That Bind describes, explains, and theorizes these trends…. The collection is clearly conceptualized and motivated, and… the pieces are quite useful.”
—Philip N. Cohen, Contemporary Sociology
Contributors examine the factors influencing the formation, timing, and form of marriage and other intimate unions, as well as the dramatic changes in these institutions in recent decades. They consider trends in marriage and cohabitation, perspectives on how unions are formed, values, attitudes, and norms about marriage, economics, and role specialization. Contributors include sociologists, economists, historians, and evolutionary psychologists. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)