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Lecture 2

SOC244H5 Lecture 2: soc244lec3.docx

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Weiguo Zhang

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Contemporary Canadian families
Are Canadian families becoming smaller?
- Canadian families are becoming smaller
-¼ (26%) of the families is a single person household
- Graph1: Lone-parent increase, common-law couples increased (before: common
law not accounted), married couples are decreasing
- Graph2: 5 persons or more decreased significantly, two and one person
households significantly increased (recently include same sex couple)
Do Canadians delay their marriages?
- Fluctuations over time
- During or before 2nd WW, stable age men around 28, women around 24
o1940s: increased a little due to war
oDecreased 50s, 60s
- Increased late 70s
- Age at marriage is high for Canadians now
Are divorce rates going up or down?
- Rising 60s, peaked 1985, then started to decline
- Rate: # of divorces per 100,000 population
- Used to be low (especially 60s)
-WHY IS THERE AN INCREASE? TEST and why decrease after?
oLegal issues factors: law made it easier to get a divorce (law)
oValue: more acceptable, change of social norms
oFamilies movement
oIndependence of women: division of labour
- Declining of divorce rate
o1990s economic recession: make families more? (Not sure)
oLess people getting married
Increase of common low couples, more people not getting
married? (not sure)
oThe rice and poor have diff marriage and divorce rates
Economic background of household affect rates
In Canada: the rich tend to marry more, divorce less
Poor: legally marry less, cohabit, tend to divorce more
Social structure
More complex than general pattern
oLaw: used to have provincial 1968: divorce act introduced to Canada
Past: Divorce based on problems eg. Mental illness, adultery, legal
divorce, difficult to achieve, need to find evidence
After 1968: living separately for 3 years, can be granted for
1985: changed from 3 years to 1 year, made divorce much easier
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