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The Rejection of Marriage and Social Stability Report (Assessment)

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A family is traditionally discussed as the major social institution which influences the community’s development because the role of a family is often to provide the flow of cultural and social knowledge between generations. Thus, marriage as the way to build a family is an important stage in the personal life, which is discussed in many cultures as a rite of passage symbolizing the persons’ maturity and readiness to take responsibilities. However, today many people reject marriage as a significant stage in their personal life and pay less attention to building a family as the fundamental factor for social development.

This tendency can directly lead to social instability because of the violation of the traditional social norms and values presented in the ideas of marriage and family. If the role of marriage can decline, the rate of divorces leading to social instability can increase. Thus, the rejection of the idea of marriage as the social trend causes young people’s focus on cohabitation, which often causes the rejection to have children because of avoiding family commitments and responsibilities, and this choice causes people’s concentration on their individual desires and interests; in turn, such individualization causes the decline of family ideals, and this situation finally leads to the social instability based on people’s discussion of themselves as unprotected and unsatisfied.

The chain of causes which lead to the social instability in the context of the idea of marriage is rather long, and it is necessary to start with analyzing the connection between the rejection of marriage and the focus on cohabitation because, while rejecting the idea of marriage, many young persons choose the alternative in the form of cohabitation. The reasons to state that the rejection of marriage leads to cohabitation are in the fact that young people tend to find the balance between romance, close and intimate relations with a partner, and their desire to protect the personal independence without references to the legal norms associated with the act of getting married (Cox and Demmitt 34-37). As a result, cohabitation as the form of close relations between two persons is the characteristic feature of contemporary society, and this form of relations plays an important role in affecting the people’s decision to have children.

In spite of the fact that cohabitation is the form of close relations between people, the associated conditions such as the lack of responsibilities and commitments often cause the persons’ choice regarding the idea of having children. Cohabitating, people focus on the individual needs of each other rather than on building the traditional form of a family. Referring to the notion of the Standard North American Family accepted in the US society, a family should consist of a heterosexual pair of persons who have children. Furthermore, these persons should distribute specific family roles regarding the traditional gender principle (Barnet and Bedau 29; Medved 112). Cohabitating pairs often choose not to have children; that is why their pairs cannot be discussed as the social fundament for people’s growth and development. Once a pair chooses to cohabitate and not to have children, this decision can cause the persons’ exaggerated individualization.

The rejection to have children accentuates the persons’ individualization because these people are inclined to focus on their own needs and desires rather than guaranteeing the progress and connectedness of generations. Individualization is the characteristic feature of modern society is associated with the persons’ satisfaction of their financial, psychological, and sexual needs. These needs can be satisfied without getting married, and the popularity of marriages decreases because of the people’s concentration on their own life (Cox and Demmitt 83; Medved 112). Personal or professional development becomes the people’s primary goal, and the fact of being married cannot affect this tendency. Consequently, such individualization becomes the main cause for the decline of the traditional family ideals serving as the fundament of the healthy society.

The observed decline of family ideals is the direct result of the extreme individualization noticed in modern society. Modern young people concentrate on supporting their personal statuses rather than on protecting the family ties and ideals. As a result, the rate of divorces in the US society increases significantly. According to the statistical data, the percentage of adults who are currently divorced, “which was only 1.8 percent for males and 2.6 percent for females in 1960, quadrupled by the year 2000”, moreover, “the percentage of divorce is higher for females than for males primarily because divorced men are more likely to remarry than divorced women” (Popenoe and Whitehead 397). The tendency to choose an independent life without the responsibilities of a husband or a wife is also supported by the fact that “the national divorce rate is close to 50% of all marriages” (Popenoe and Whitehead 398). In spite of the fact that “for many people, the actual chances of divorce are far below 50/50”, many persons choose not to get married because of not seeing the perspectives in the family life (Popenoe and Whitehead 398). This tendency contributes to increasing the rates of people who divorce and who choose cohabitation as the alternative (Cox and Demmitt 32). These numbers support the idea that modern people are inclined to choose an independent life with the status of a single person or as a cohabitating pair instead of building families while violating family values. The principles of marriage challenge the persons’ focus on themselves, and this decline of family ideals along with increasing divorce rates leads to the obvious social instability.

The social instability can be caused by the obvious decline of the family ideals observed in the US society because many people tend to reject the idea of marriage, but the alternative variants of relations cannot provide people with the necessary feelings of comfort and protection. While rejecting the importance of marriage, young people cannot change the public’s vision of the traditional family based on marriage because it is a long and challenging process, and people’s focus on security found in families as the traditional form of relations has rather deep roots in the nation’s history. Since to choose a marriage means to choose the social security and public’s approval, and to violate family ideals and marriage legal and social norms means to contribute to creating the insecure environment within the society (Popenoe and Whitehead 399). The progressive and popular trends of rejecting family norms cannot add to people’s independence, but they contribute to social instability because of the necessity to create new social institutions.

From this point, the fact of rejecting the idea of marriage is the most important cause which directly and indirectly leads to social instability because people lose their ties with family roots, violate the idea of the traditional family, become feeling unprotected, unsecured, and unsatisfied. The focus on rejecting marriage as the form of building a family becomes the nationally accepted trend. As a result, society changes significantly because families as social cells cease to influence social development in the context of the modern situation. The society in which marriage and a family as its result are not valued anymore cannot be discussed as strong and stable because this society should be transformed, and its new form cannot be related to the traditional norms and rules celebrated and followed during the centuries (Cox and Demmitt 30-32). That is why the rejection of marriage is the main cause that leads to social instability because this idea is associated with a range of other interconnected causes that can finally affect social stability rather negatively.

One of the main causes of the social instability observed in many modern communities is the rejection of the idea of marriage as the fundament for creating the family as the society’s unit. Although many people cannot see the direct connection between the modern tendencies associated with the concept of marriage and social stability, the obvious interdependence exists, and the violation of definite traditional social norms and customs inevitably leads to negative consequences for the general idea of the social stability. The rejection of the idea of marriage causes the progress of the social instability through the chain of significant factors which play like causes for each next tendency. The possible additional effect of this casual chain’s development is the complete rejection of marriage as the way to state the legality of persons’ relations. Furthermore, the innovative vision of marriage and family can be developed in several years.

Works Cited

Barnet, Sylvan, and Hugo Bedau. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument with Readings. USA: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2010. Print.

Cox, Frank, and Kevin Demmitt. Human Intimacy: Marriage, the Family, and Its Meaning. USA: Cengage Learning, 2013. Print.

Medved, Diane. Case against Divorce. USA: Random House Publishing Group, 1990. Print.

Popenoe, David and Barbara Whitehead. “The State of Our Unions”. Research and Composition in the Disciplines. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard Rosen. USA: Pearson, 2011. 390-402. Print.

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