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The marriage-go-round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Todayby Andrew J. Cherlin
Synopses & Reviews
The Marriage-Go-Round illuminates the shifting nature of America's most cherished social institution and explains its striking differences from marriage in other Western countries.
Andrew J. Cherlin's three decades of study have shown him that marriage in America is a social and political battlefield in a way that it isn’t in other developed countries. Americans marry and divorce more often and have more live-in partners than Europeans, and gay Americans have more interest in legalizing same-sex marriage. The difference comes from Americans’ embrace of two contradictory cultural ideals: marriage, a formal commitment to share one's life with another; and individualism, which emphasizes personal choice and self-development. Religion and law in America reinforce both of these behavioral poles, fueling turmoil in our family life and heated debate in our public life. Cherlin’s incisive diagnosis is an important contribution to the debate and points the way to slowing down the partnership merry-go-round.
Previously published: New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.
About the Author
Andrew J. Cherlin is the Benjamin H. Griswold III Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University and is the author of Public and Private Families. His articles have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and on the op-ed pages of The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other publications. He has been a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and the Distinguished Career Award from the Family Section of the American Sociological Association. He lives in Baltimore.
From the Hardcover edition.
Table of Contents
How American family life is different — The historical origins of the American pattern, 1650-1900 — The rise of the companionate marriage, 1900-1960 — The individualized marriage and the expressive divorce, 1960-2000 — The American way of marriage — The M-factor — Blue-collar blues/white-collar weddings — Slow down.
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