I Dont Know Why I Need This Essay

1190 Words Oct 23rd, 2014 5 Pages
Examine the reasons for the divorce rate in Britain today.
Divorce is the legal separation of married couples. A divorce rate is the number of divorces occurring among the population of a given area during a given year. Since the 1960s there has been a great increase in the number of divorces in the United Kingdom. In Britain today, the numbers have fallen somewhat, but still stood at around 157,000 in 2001. This rate shows that about 40% of marriages will end in divorce. Some couples are more likely to divorce than others – couples such as those who marry young, those who have a child or cohabit before marriage and those where one or both partners have been married before. Functionalists are interested in divorce because they argue that
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For example, when Princess Diana got divorced, although it was a shock at the time, divorce then slowly became more socially acceptable. Juliet Mitchell and Jack Goody have noted that an important change since the 1960s in divorce rates has been the rapid decline in the stigma attached to divorce. As the stigma in divorce declines, couples become more reliant on using divorce as a solution to their marriage troubles. Rather than divorce being seen as shameful, today it is more likely to be regarded as misfortune on the couple’s behalf.
A third reason for the increase in divorce rates today is due to secularisation. Secularisation refers to the decline in the influence of religion in society today. An example of the decline of religion in society today is that the numbers of people attending churches are continuing to decline. Most religions frowned upon divorce, but now religion is in decline so divorce carries less weight in society and people are more likely to divorce. As religion is becoming less influential in society, many churches have also begun to soften their views on divorce – this could be due to the fact that they fear losing credibility with members of the public and with their own members.
Another reason for the increase in divorce is due to the rising expectations of marriage. Functionalists such as Ronald Fletcher argue that the higher expectations people have on marriages today are a major factor adding to the rising divorce rates. As people have

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