Textbook Notes (362,798)
Canada (158,054)
Sociology (1,479)
SOC101Y1 (470)
Chapter 5

Chapter Five

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University of Toronto St. George
Bonnie Fox

Chapter five: Marriage Why do we Marry? three hypothesis: + 1. couple may receive some exogenous payoff by marrying. By following socially normative customs, they're rewarded by society. Marriage serve as a rite of passage into adulthood and social approval of the couple + 2. marriage act as a commitment device harder to end a marriage than to end a cohabiting union, getting married promote relationship-specific investment such as purchasing a home/having children together + 3. marriage may be used as a signaling device to state very publicly the extent of one's love for the partner marriage is a stronger signal of love than cohabitation + majority of couples got married because it served as a commitment device historically, people didn't marry for marriage but for political/economic reasons + marriage important in terms of creating family alliances + love expected to occur after marriage now, reasons for marriage vary + people marry for religious reasons + important of serving a higher power + emotional security + companionship + want to get married before starting a family important to be married before children are brought into relationship additional reasons for getting married + intense physical attraction to a person + partner provides economic security + pressured into it by family or religious leaders + escape parental home, rebel parental control, to rebound from previous relationship, or to be rescued from an unsatisfying life Marriage Rates: marriage rate can be measured in two ways: + crude marriage rate: estimates the number of marriages for ever 1000 people in a given year. Problem with this measure is that the denominator in this equation includes unmarriageable people such as children and therefore is not a good indicator of the likelihood of marriage. Using general marriage rate gets around this problem + general marriage rate: estimates the number of people in a population eligible for marriage and restricts the denominator to unmarried women age 15 and older. This eliminates children from the equation. Total first marriage rate: percentage of individuals who can expect to marry before age 50 Age at Marriage: the age at which people marry is increasing same-sex couples tend to marry somewhat later people generally marry someone who is close to them in age (age homogamy), with husbands being slightly older (by about 2 years) than wives, especially when they are young + as they get older, the age gap between spouses increases can lead to a marriage squeeze where mid-life and older women commonly are squeezed out of opportunities to marry. This occurs because men marry younger women. - exchange theory suggest that men is trading wealth and status for the younger woman's beauty Defining Marriage: traditionally, marriage was defined as the voluntary union for life of one man to one woman to the exclusion of all others. + implies a lifelong commitment to another person and also that the marriage is heterosexual and monogamous + because of this definition, gay and lesbian couples were not able to marry or divorce until recently in Canada, only monogamy is legal. + Monogamy is the marriage of one person to another at one time + often practice serial monogamy: a person can have more than one marriage partner in his or her life time but must have these partners one at a time (get a divorce and then remarry) some areas of country practice polygamy: marriage to several individuals at the same time. + practice supported by the values of both genders and is often linked to religious beliefs. + most common form worldwide is polygyny: one man has several wives + polyandry: marital practice in which one woman has multiple husbands fairly novel way to be married today is living apart together/ LAT marriages + formerly called commuter marriages + individuals in the marriage live in separate homes, usually in separate cities, often in separate countries, and at times in separate houses in the same neighborhood + a short-term arrangement, while for others this can be a lifelong living arrangement + main reason: career advancement of one or both spouses forcing them to live apart. The Transition to Marriage: transition to marriage is the time when a newly married couple must learn to integrate with each other and with their extended families + transition requires the couple to negotiate their roles as a married couple prenuptial agreement: a type of agreement is a legal document that specifies how premarital assets will be divided if the marriage were to end few common marital tasks that must be negotiated by newly married couple + first task: determine how couple will present themselves to the larger society. The couple must find their unique place or identity within their extended family network that they then present outwardly through their social interactions. They also have to negotiate the meaning of their own new identities as spouses in their relationship. + second task: negotiate marital boundaries. How much time should be spent together as a couple vs family and friends. Is it okay for a woman to go clubbing? Or should they do it together. - the more investments you make, harder it is to dissolve the marriage creating barriers to leaving + emotional climate of the marriage must be negotiated. Sexual scripts involved and different type of socialization exposed to different partners.Acouple needs to negotiate how best to provide emotional support to each other. Conflict resolution. Providing support. Marriage and Health: generally believed that marriage is good for one's health + linked to a number of health benefits such as decreased mortality, increased cardiovascularhealth, increased immune system functioning, and increased psychological health. + three common perspectives that explain the link between marriage and health: selection, protection, and marital quality hypothesis. Selection: selection hypothesis: it's not the marriage per se that is responsible for the link between marriage and health. Rather, healthier people tend to marry each other and unhealthy people have a harder time finding and keeping a mate. Getting married is associated with the availability of suitable partners (who is available) and the desirability of our own traits (how desirable we are to potential mates) people with poor past health or those who show evidence of poor future health have lower rates of marriage explained by exchange theory & assortative mating principle. - people pair up with individuals much like themselves and search for the best possible match they can get in exchange for the resources they have to offer. Exchange theory suggests people with desired attributes will be winners in the mating game + they'll be selected as the best option in a set of available options healthy people tend to marry each other and unhealthy people are left to marry similarly unhealthy people or do not marry at all (get squeezed out of marriage) marriage doesn't cause better health. + marriage does seem to provide health benefits beyond the selection effect. Protection: protection hypothesis: marriage provides social and economic supports that are linked with improved health. + ie: marriage improves physical health by improving emotional healt
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