American Marriage in Transition

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ENG 111
28 January 2011
American Marriage in Different Eras
Marriage has changed dramatically over time in the many years it has been around. What do think Marriage was like 100 years ago? The article, “American Marriage in Transition”, describes how many different types of marriage there are and how people have changed their view on it. Andrew Cherlin (the sociologist of the article) does a great job going in depth explaining American marriage. He arranges the different marriages in three different categories; Institutionalized which was the earliest type of marriage, then Companionship around World War II, and currently we are considered Individualized.

Institutionalized marriage is the earliest type of marriage that he describes in the article. This was where the men were mainly the bread winners and the women would stay home with the kids and do chores around the house. The couples would only be having kids if they were married and it was very rare back then to have any without any marital status. The U.S. National Center for Health says, “1 of 6 births in the United States occurred outside of marriage.” Usually the women would not have any education the majority of the time. Also back in the day they would have gotten married younger than today’s standard which makes it very surprising that getting divorce was very unlikely. The concept of same sex marriage was not talked about and was pretty much banned from society, also the thought of having multiple partners was either not allowed or just hidden from everybody finding out.

Marriage started to transition into the companionship marriage where it is more common to see some of the men staying home and the women in the workforce. This would start happening around very challenging times like World War II and the Depression. There would most likely be split chores or responsibilities around the house that the men and the women would take turns doing. This first change of getting married...
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