Marriage in a Culture of Divorce

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Dezember 1999



Today, when fifty percent of couples who marry eventually get divorced, it's clear that we have moved from a culture in which "marriage is forever" to one in which "marriage is contingent." Author Karla Hackstaff looks at intact marriages to examine the impact of new expectations in a culture of divorce.Marriage in a Culture of Divorce examines the shifting meanings of divorce and gender for two generations of middle-class, married couples. Hackstaff finds that new social and economic conditions both support and undermine the efforts of spouses to redefine the meaning of marriage in a culture of divorce. The definitions of marriage, divorce, and gender have changed for all, but more for the young than the old, and more for women than men. While some spouses in both generations believe that marriage is for life and that men should dominate in marriage, the younger generation of spouses increasingly construct marriage as contingent rather than forever.Hackstaff presents this evidence in archival case studies of couples married in the 1950s, which she then contrasts with her own case studies of people married during the 1970s, finding evidence of a significant shift in who does the emotional work of maintaining the relationship. It is primarily the woman in the '50s couples who "monitors" the marriage, whereas in the '70s couples both husband and wife support a "marital work ethic, " including couples therapy in some cases.The words and actions of the couples Hackstaff follows in depth -- the '50's Stones, Dominicks, Hamptons, and McIntyres, and the '70's Turners, Clement-Leonettis, Greens, Kason-Morrises, and Nakatos -- reveal the changes and contradictory tendencies of marriedlife in the U.S. There are traditional relationships characterized by male dominance, there are couples striving for gender equality, there are partners pulling together, and partners pulling apart.Those debating "family values" should not forget, Hackstaff contends, that


Acknowledgments Introduction: Watershed in the Meaning of Marriage 1. Marriage and the Construction of Ideology: From Marriage Culture to Divorce Culture 2. The Shifting Grounds for Divorce: Structural and Cultural Conditions for Change 3. The Push of Marriage Culture Among '50s Spouses 4. The '50s Dominicks: Dominating with Divorce Culture 5. The '50s Hamptons and Other Couples: Redefining Marriage Culture in Terms of Gender Equality 6. '50s Spouses Secure Equal Footing in Divorce Culture 7. The '50s Era in Rearview Mirror 8. The Pull of Divorce Culture: Divorce Anxiety Among '70s Spouses 9. '70s Couples Aim for Relational Equality 10. The '70s Greens: Traditionalism in the 1990s 11. "Topsy-Turvy" Mariages Among '70s Spouses 12. Divorce Culture: A Quest for Relational Equality in Marriage Appendix: Methodological Notes Notes Bibliography Index


"This is a very important book... Hackstaff has given us some brilliant insights into one of the most important social, psychological, and moral problems of our time." --Eli Sagan, author of Freud, Women, and Morality: The Psychology of Good and Evil "How do men and women feel about marriage in a culture of divorce? In this brilliant book, Hackstaff gets down to the key details in which culture, attachment, and power interact. This book makes giant strides in our understanding of marriage in the modern day." --Arlie Russell Hochschild, author of The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work "Karla Hackstaff shows that the truth about American marriage is far more complex--and hopeful--than the divorce alarmists would have it." --Arlene Skolnick, author of Embattled Paradise: The American Family in an Age of Uncertainty "In this timely work, Karla Hackstaff adds richly to the contemporary discussions about the future of marriage and, by extension, the futures of the family and constructs of gender." --Terry Arendell, Professor, Colby College, and author of Mothers and Divorce and Fathers and Divorce
EAN: 9781566397254
ISBN: 1566397251
Untertitel: New. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Dezember 1999
Seitenanzahl: 289 Seiten
Format: kartoniert
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