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.
One reason for changes in the divorce rate is the change in how divorce is perceived by society. For example, 50 years ago divorce was considered to be shameful and dishonourable. However, since then it’s no longer considered such a disgrace. The reason for the shift in social norms and values, particularly since the 1950’s is that it’s not as uncommon, due to new laws being introduced and changes being made to existing ones. The major change has been the introduction of the divorce reform act.
The reasons for this decrease are due to a change in social norms and a decline in social stigma. It is now socially acceptable to not get married, and lots of individuals choose to concentrate on other aspects of their life such as their career rather than marriage. Woman especially are treated very differently than they were in the 1950s. They now have access to higher education and careers and are not expected to be housewives. In 2004 the UK average ratio of men and woman at university was 51:49 which shows that nearly just as many woman choose to go on to higher education as men.
We know that in the past, divorce was very hard to get as it was only legal for the men to file a divorce. Also it was socially unacceptable. Government have now been passing down laws in order to give men and women equal rights in divorce and is now much easier and cheaper than before. This Suggesting that now women have rights they’d be more confident to now file a divorce. In 1969, the Divorce Reform Act was introduced which made it much easier to get a divorce.
People’s view of the aging sector of society has changed over the years. The mass media and the anti-aging industry are partly responsible for society’s views on aging and have had a profound impact on their perception of aging adults. Prejudice towards older adults in the market place gives some validation to reasons why many desire and strive to retain a youthful appearance. The fear of aging and death transcends age and gender; although research concludes that death anxiety is highest amongst the middle aged (30-50) (DePaola, Griffin, Young, Neimeyer, 2003). The number one reason for the fear of death is the unknown.
In this essay I will mention a few points of why there are arguments for and against this view as well as mention which laws are included as well as sociologist views who may for and against the view. There was the Matrimonial Causes act in 1857 which made sure that divorce was easier to access and then there was the 1950 divorce law where it focuses on the one spouse that is being blamed for marital breakdown and thirdly was the 1984 divorce law which made it even quicker to get a divorce if the marriage was unsuccessful, and finally there was the most recent 1996 Family Law Act and what this did was increase the stability of marriage through a period of reflection, and in some ways also make divorce easier to achieve. The view ‘more permissive divorce laws in themselves create increased marital breakdown’, has been argued for and against, for the for argument, the idea that the laws made divorce easier and more affordable, such as the legislation on child support which meant absent parents had to pay for their children. Although there has been arguments against this view, such as the argument that the divorce laws since the 1850’s reflect social change rather than creating it. There have also been other views and explanations of this for example some functionalist views of one below: One such Functionalist Ronald Fletcher (1996) suggested that in this day and age marriage is seen as less necessary and divorce more accepted in wider society, back as far as the 19th century it was much harder to achieve and was even frowned upon.
In the 1970’s, the divorce laws changed meaning that a person could divorce their spouse for any reason, rather than only being able to divorce before if there was some type of wrongdoing before. This then allowed unhappy women to be able to leave their husbands for reasons such as physical abuse which was once seen as acceptable. Functionalists would not agree with the decline of the nuclear family. Functionalists believe that everything in society works as an institution to make society on the whole function harmoniously. They say that family is vital for 4 things in society: the regulation of sexual activity, reproducing and raising children, educating or socialising society’s way of life to the younger members and being an economic unit with clear divisions of labour between genders.
Assess the view that the nuclear family is no longer the norm. (24 marks) In this essay I will be assessing the view of different sociologists concerning the question ‘is the nuclear family no longer the norm?’, from this essay I should be able to conclude if it is in fact still the norm or not. First of all, in 1969 the Divorce Reform Act was put into place which enabled people to get a divorce easily compared to before. With this law people could simply say that the marriage wasn’t working out and straight away they could get a divorce, this had an impact on both family structure and society. After this law there was an increase in lone parent families, cohabiting and even same sex couples, this was because it started to be more socially acceptable and married couples didn’t have to be forced into a relationship if they weren’t happy.
Women also received greater equality as non financial contributions to the marriage were taken into account during the dissolution. The Family Law Reform Act 1995 (Cth) simplified the divorce process and thus made it more cost effective and less time consuming. However, the introduction of this act has resulted in one in two marriages breaking down today. In result, it has been seen as ineffective for making it far too easy for couples to access and apply for dissolution, leaving many children having to witness the public
By the 1960s and 1970s, the nuclear family became less common as homosexuality was decriminalised and abortion became legal in 1967; the contraceptive pill was available and divorced started to become more socially accepted. The New Right blame the decrease in the nuclear family for the increase in crime and educational underachievement. Charles Murray (1989) believes that the nuclear family is under threat which links to people living off of benefits from the government rather than working which has led to “culture of dependency”. This means that people don’t necessarily have to stay in marriages to be able to be financially stable because they can rely on the Welfare State. The New Right believe that single parent families lead to educational underachievement and delinquency.