Transformation of Marriage: Essay

Transformation of Marriage: Essay

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The marriage revolution has been a controversial issue since the dawn of time, and all that are and have been involved with “matrimony” are aware of the issues of the future. There can be no denying that the culture of marriage has changed. This very course is itself a great example of this fact. Much like any other sociological subject of any real concern, there are many “opinions” related to this issue. This paper will attempt to highlight marriage seen as the sociological transformation, marital erosion versus evolution, and why many people fail at marriage and what does it take to be successful in greater detail. This will allow you, the readers, to make up your own minds regarding this extremely multifaceted issue.

Marriage seen as the sociological transformation

“Couples today have much higher expectations. Between the 1950s and the 1970s American attitudes toward marriage changed dramatically as part of what has been called the “psychological revolution”—a transformation in the way people look at marriage, parenthood, and their lives in general.” (Skolnick p.171) At first blush, marriage in America seems to have followed a similar course. Once a required rite of passage, seen as a genuine embodiment of shared values, it now serves as a game-show prize on Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire or a booby prize on My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé — even though wedding ceremonies have created a "bridal-industrial complex," as Lee professor of economics Claudia Goldin calls the nearly $100-billion-a-year U.S. industry that outpaces even the movie business ($45 billion a year, including sales and rentals). (Hodder, 2004) Motivated by celebrity magazines and wedding planners, couples take on increasingly elaborate spectacles that take years to plan and cost on average $20,000 to produce.
When Love Story first appeared, our society was still extremely absorbed in a marriage culture that encouraged and supported getting and staying married. But inside a few years, the women's movement, the pill, the sexual revolution, and various economic shifts had permanently transformed that marriage-centric society. Marriage is not an endangered species, but it is surrounded by enormous difficulties that were not readily apparent 35 or 40 years ago. Divorce is a very serious presence — over 50 percent of our marriages end in di...

... middle of paper ...

...;what has been will still be." Stay open to newness. Stay open to change.” (Nutt, 1990)


Catholic Answers Inc. (2004). Special Report: Marriage. Retrieved April 8, 2005 from the
World Wide Web:

Gallagher, Maggie. (2002, July 13). How We Destroy Lasting Love. The Abolition of Marriage.
Retrieved April 8, 2005 from the World Wide Web:

Hodder, Fraser H. (2004, Nov-Dec). The Future of Marriage. Harvard Magazine Volume 107,
Number 2, Page 38. Retrieved April 8, 2005 from the World Wide Web:

Grady Nutt. (July, 1990) Higher Praise. Retrieved April 8, 2005 from the World Wide Web:

Ross, Catherine E., Mirowsky, John & Goldsteen Karen. (1990). The Impact of the Family on
Health. Journal of Marriage and the Family. Retrieved April 8, 2005 from the World Wide

Skolnick, Arlene S. & Skolnick Jerome H. (2005). Family in Transition. Boston: Pearson A&B.

Waite, Linda & Gallagher, Maggie. (2001). The Case for Marriage. New York: Doubleday

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