Examine Sociological Explanations for the Increase in Divorce in Britain Since the 1970s

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Mustafa Altun Sociology Examine sociological explanations for the increase in divorce in Britain since the 1970s Since the 1970s there has been many factors effecting the increase of divorce in Britain. Different sociological theory's have different explanations to which this may be. I will be exploring their view to which why they believe it has increased along with factors from elsewhere. One significant fact that has caused the increase of divorces in Britain since the 1970s is changes in law. In 1969 the divorce reform act was put in place, this meant that people no longer needed to prove adultery, cruelty etc. as an reason for splitting. They simply had to establish their marriage has 'irretrievably broken down'. Due to this divorce rates rapidly increased. However the 1999 act put a cap on the duration of marriage before an divorce was able to proceed, this was 18 month plus it introduced compulsory marriage counselling. This means that divorce has now become equal, easer and even cheaper. This is a huge factor as before 1857 divorce was non existence and only available through act of parliament. This shows us that changes in law has been the biggest factor in terms why it has increased. Other reasons can be things such as declining stigma and changing attitudes. It is now seen and respected by the public to divorce if want to end your marriage. Whereas before it had been looked down on and a act of shame. Now that it no longer exists people are more confident to divorce without the judgement of society. Mitchell and goody (1997) claim that important changes since the 1960's has rapidly declined stigma attached to divorce. This implys people attitudes towards is no longer the same and that people have more choice in their marriage. It also shows divorce would increase as in terms that your decision is valued by society and you may even get support.
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