The Family Diversity Inequality And Social Change Analysis

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Chapter eight of Cohen’s The Family: Diversity, Inequality and Social Change focuses on marriage and cohabitation. Cohen discuses trends in marriage and cohabitation over time and the causes for these changes. He also examines who gets married as well as the benefits of marriage. Since the 1960s, marriage rates have been rapidly decreasing, and marriage rates have fallen faster for some groups more than others. Regarding racial-ethnic groups, African Americans are “experiencing a more rapid and pronounced decline in marriage rate than any other group” (Cohen 2015:262). Another trend regarding marriage is that people are getting married later in life than ever before. Statistics show that “in the 1950s, the average American woman got married …show more content…
The patterns to marriage have become increasingly diverse. For example, “about two-thirds of people who marry have lived together (cohabitated) first” (Cohen 2015:260). Another trend is that many marriages in the United States are remarriages. This is partly due to high divorce rates and that remarriage has become more acceptable. Rates of people of the same gender marrying and cohabitating together have increased due to the rising acceptance of sex-sex couples in society as well as the law. Inequality also plays a major role in the experiences of marriage and cohabitation. Studies show that people rarely marry someone with a different education level or income. Marriage has also become “more common for people with college degrees and less common for those without” (Cohen 2015:261). When comparing married couples to single adults, married couples are less likely to be poor than single adults, due to couples combining their salaries. Over the last several decades, same-sex marriage has become a controversial issue, with many supporters advocating for legalizing same sex marriage across the United States, and those who oppose it. On June 26, 2015, same-sex marriage became legal in all fifty states when the Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that “states …show more content…
I believe that cohabitating with someone that you are in a committed relationship with can be beneficial for both people because you can get a better sense of the other person before you make a larger commitment, such as marriage. In a few years, if I meet someone that I want to eventually marry, I would want to live with them first. Cohabitating before marriage is becoming a more accepted stage in the relationship process as “in the past 40 years, living together has gone from something 1 in 10 American couples did before marriage to the experience of 2 out of 3 couples” (Cohen 2015:284). Changing societal and cultural views are some of the reasons for the growing acceptance of cohabitation before marriage. If I start cohabitating with someone when I am older, I do not think my parents will mind as much. I would only want to live with someone that I want to marry and I would hope that my parents would understand. Regarding marriage, it is not one of my main goals in life. I want to finish college, attend graduate school, and start a career. If I meet someone along the way who I want to marry, then I would want to get married. If I go through life without getting married, then I will not be upset about

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