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Chapter 11 reading & lecture note

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Lingqin Feng

SOC244: TEST 2 Chapter 11: Spousal and Partner Relationships (pages 300 328) Introduction 1) As a social category, men are more powerful agents of the construction of reality than women. This macro-sociological advantage carries into intimate relationships. 2) Throughout the last half of the 20th century, the relationship between spouses has become far more diverse than it used to be: - First, the explosion of divorce on the familial scene has meant that martial stability can no longer be taken for granted. Couples now enter marriage with a less secure feeling of permanency than was the case in the past, when only death could separate them. - Second, the massive entry of women on the labor market has resulted in more complex feminine expectation and often more complex forms of masculine cooperation or resistance in terms of the household division of labor. Couples now have to negotiate who does what at various stages of family development and this situation can result in a tense relationship. - Third, couples expectations of marriage concerning love, sexuality, and companionship have heightened. More is demanded of marriage in terms of relationship than in the past, while, at the same time, couples may be less patient when their expectations are not met. 3) The cultural focus of marriage as an institution has shifted to an individualistic axis emphasizing needs and gratification. 4) The relationship between spouses has also become more diverse for the simple reason that it now includes more categories of couples. Today, the term spouse or partner has been extended to all couples involved in living together relationships, whether they are cohabitants, same- sex couples or remarried couples. Types of Marriage and How They Change: The Conflict Habituated Relationship 1) The main characteristics of the conflict-habituated relationship are tension and unresolved conflict, some of which is overt and appears in the form of nagging and quarrelling. Spouses seem to argue for the sake of it. When on their best behavior, these couples are polite, particularly in the company of others. But they do not conceal from their children. 2) What holds their marriage together may be force of habit, the fact that the spouses have personalities that are combative or have been so chiseled by the relationship that they might have difficulty adjusting to a mire peaceful situation were they to divorce. In other www.notesolution.comcases, they cannot afford to divorce because of poverty or shred wealth andor social position. The Devitalized Relationship 1) In this relationship, the spouses had been deeply in love early on in their marriage, had enjoyed their sex lives and have shared much together. Over time, the relationship lost its original shine and vitality. Now these coupes simply take each other for granted but conflict is rare, most of the time spent together is a matter of duty, to fulfill parental roles, to present a united front to the world, and to take care of each others careers. These couples are often exemplary parents. 2) The relationship continues because of their commonly shared duties as well as the absence of conflict. There are generally other rewarding aspects in their lives, in which they invest much. They celebrate anniversaries and appreciate each other as parents or workers. The Passive-Congenial Relationship 1) The passive-congenial relationship may be quite similar to the devitalized relationship, with the exception that couples do not have an early exciting past that has been hollowed out through the years. They harbor deep affection and especially respect for each other and are not disillusioned, as are the devitalized couples. They are quite comfortable with their situation. They emphasize what they share, such as their total agreement on a variety of political or religious issues, or the fact that they have similar leisure interests, parenting goals, and social network. 2) These couples dating lives were generally uneventful, and a strong element of level- headedness rather than passionate love was at the basis of their decision to marry. Marriage is a secure platform from which to explore and develop other deep and passionate interests, whether in parenting, political interests, careers, or even volunteer work. Compatibility of background is often important. Although, some of these marriages end in divorce, the risk is not high as for the two previous categories. Fulfills many culturally acceptable functions for the spouses and their families. The Reproductive-Familial Relationship
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