The Importance Of Cohabitation In British Society

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Traditionally, family may be defined as a group of people linked directly by blood relations, wherein the adults take responsibility for their young ones (Giddens, 2001, p.433). However, there has been no legitimate agreement on an exact definition. What is clearer is the definition of family structure. Family structure (what a family consists of) is an integral variable in the constitution of a society. The British society specifically, has been witness to a variety of family structures that have resulted from changes and trends that have occurred in the economy, the political policies and other such disciplines of social sciences. Hence, an interdisciplinary approach must be employed to fully evaluate why, when and how these repercussions …show more content…
Now, divorce can be linked with cohabitation using the cause and effect mechanism. According to Axinn and Thornton (1992), cohabitation became popular due to the rising divorce rates. People began to realise the negative economic, social and financial repercussions of divorce. Younger people started using cohabitation as preliminary step to marriage. This led to a rise in the average age of marrying. This was advantageous to a certain extent. The reason being, people who got married at an older stage were less divorce-prone (Ringen, …show more content…
Therefore, it can be interpreted that in most cases, cohabitation is a trial process for marriage and it is clear that from 70 years ago till today, marriage is still the most popular norm. However, marriage is not the most certain and final step in starting a family. Instabilities like divorce have been bringing down the number of married couples drastically over the years; thereby changing family structures in the British society. Trends like cohabitation as opposed to marriage have led to an extension in the definition of family. These phenomena with their social, political and economic causes and effects have challenged Giddens’ definition and concept of a traditional family. The causes and effects are interlinked in various ways and cannot be explained using one field of study only. Hence, an interdisciplinary approach provided a thorough understanding of the changes and trends that have occurred in the British society. In conclusion, it can be said that family structures in the Great Britain are subject to instabilities and will continue to multiply in the upcoming

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