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Sociological Theories on Divorce

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Autor:   •  August 15, 2013  •  Research Paper  •  689 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,997 Views

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Divorce has played a great part for sociologist in scientifically studying social behavior and human groups. In todays culture divorce is considered normal for close to half of all married couples (Dawn Sutton, 2013). Divorce can impact many family members, people outside the family, and our society as well.

That's why divorce has so many different sociological components that can be analyzed from the three major theoretical perspectives. The functionalist view would emphasize the contribution divorce makes to overall social stability

(Richard T. Schaefer, 2011, 17). The conflict view would argue that the social order is based on coercion and exploitation Richard T. Schaefer, 2011, 17). The

interactionist view is especially interested in shared understandings in every day behavior (Richard T. Schaefer, 2011,17). Each one of these views contributes to our society in some way.

Since functionalist look at certain aspects as a whole it will look at divorce in a macro point of view as well. Functionalist could see divorce from a negative point of view. They would blame divorce on social institutions falling to provide adequate instructions. Functionalist will expect married couples to conform to higher societal standards. They feel as though married couples shouldn't give up on their marriage and believe they should be able to communicate. Functionalist support traditional family norms so, for example a married couple with their own children, all sharing a common dwelling and dividing work by gender. Few of today's American families fit this so-called typical family definition (Oregon State, Uni. 1992). Even though in today's society this is the complete opposite of norm, but functionalist believe that the traditional family norm is the key to reducing the divorce rate. And where functionalists see stability and consensus, conflict sociologist sees the world in continual struggle (Richard T. Schaefer, 2011,14). They tend to look and see just who would be benefiting from the divorce.

Conflict theorist would see the divorce as competition and the disagreement of power within the marriage where the couple cannot come to an agreement. And when a marriage struggles with such an amount of tension...that could ultimately end up resulting in a divorce. When couples are in the process of divorce, a conflict theorists would strive to make people aware that the couple will suffer financially and that the government would be the one benefiting from the taxes. Basically, conflict theorist would say that society is at fault and that couples are just choosing the easy way out of marriage.

An interactionist would examine divorce from a micro perspective.

Interactionist would generalize about everyday forms of social interaction in order to explain society as a whole (Richard T. Schaefer, 2011,14). One example would be looking for problems within the individuals.


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