American Marriage in Transition

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“American Marriage in Transition”
Critical Analysis
Through the years the meaning of marriage has changed. The reason for this change is because of cultural trends such as division of labor, cohabitation, and gay marriage. In the article “American Marriage in Transition”, Andrew J. Cherlin explains how this transition, which occurred in society between the 19th and 20th centuries, changed the meaning of marriage. He categorizes the different types of marriages into three distinct types: institutionalized, companionate, and individualized. “American Marriage in Transition” means “change”. How did marriage “change” between the 19th and 20th century? This is probably the question Cherlin asked himself when he started to write this article. Additionally, he appeals to the reader’s common sense in order to understand how culture and values are important factors in the meaning of marriage. He supports his thesis by using solid evidence and examples to describe three different types of marriages. For example, Cherlin uses statistics from (U.S Census Bureau, 2003a) in order to show different tendencies of marriage. Another example is he uses important historical events of the History such as the Great Depression and World War II. This allows the reader to see how the meaning of marriage has changed over the years. In the introduction, Cherlin starts with a statement of how the meaning of marriage has changed. Such as, “In a large sense, the changing division of labor, childbearing outside of marriage, cohabitation, and gay marriage are the result of long-term cultural and material trends that altered the meaning of marriage during the 20th”. Then, he describes how during the past four decades, individualization become more important and how women are an important part of the economic society. Cherlin uses illustrations to cite some research and give context to the changing views of marriage between the 19th and 20th centuries. Cherlin uses...
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