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Christine L. Williams, Chair CLA 3.306, Mailcode A1700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-232-6300

Spring 2007

SOC 395F • Marriage, Family, and Kinship: Marriage Trends in the US and Other Modern Societies

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
46495 MWF
2:00 PM-3:00 PM
BUR 330
GLENN

Course Description

This seminar will deal with what is happening to marriage in the United States and other modern societiesa topic about which there are several current controversies and about which there has been a lot of recent discussion in the media, among policy makers, in the think tanks, and in academic circles. Everyone agrees that substantial and important changes have occurred, but there is disagreement about just how radical the changes have been and about the extent to which the changes have been positive, negative, or largely neutral in their effects on individuals and on societies as a whole. Many authors have written about a "decline in marriage," but there is considerable variation in what is meant by that phrase. To some observers, it means that marriage is becoming deinstitutionalized and reduced to arrangements that are largely private and the terms of which are negotiated by the married persons rather than being dictated by social norms. To others, the phrase means no more than the reduction of the percentage of the adult population that is married and related changes such as the increase in non-marital cohabitation and in non-marital childbearing. These latter changes may or may not indicate deinstitutionalization of marriage.

Texts

Amato, Booth, Johnson, and Rogers, Alone Together: How Marriage in America Is Changing, published by Harvard University Press.

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