With nearly half of all marriages in the United States of America commonly held to end in separation, divorce has proved to be an interesting area of sociological research. In this essay, we will primarily…
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The validity of this argument today will be checked by reviewing the arguments and the counter-arguments that Kramer himself provides in the essay as well as those that appear elsewhere. To set the context, we will also look at present-day statistics and opinions on divorce rates in the United States and touch upon other, more contemporary issues that have arisen related to the questions of marriage and separation.
To present Kramer’s basic argument: Kramer insists that the increasing numbers of American couples opting to separate rather than stay together is the direct fallout of the value system and lifestyle that America collectively espouses. Kramer’s basic contention is that the contemporary emphasis on autonomy of the individual as the foundation of a good relationship is what causes more frequent break-ups. This emphasis may be in the form of the psychiatrist’s advice to the couple to stand their own ground in an argument; or may be reflected in classic American literature like Thoreau’s ‘self-help book’ Walden, which celebrates the individual spirit; or in the economic ideal of Capitalism that America proudly ‘exports’; and other such ideas fundamental to the American way of life. Despite the changed contexts and newer developments since publication of Kramer’s article, it remains a text that is still valid and instructive in analyzing a pervasive social phenomenon visible in the United States even today. Even though fifteen years have passed since it was first published, Kramer’s arguments still stand up to scrutiny.
A recent article on CNBC reveals how because of the growing acceptance and maturing of the ‘two-income family model’, divorce rates have actually been falling over the last decade in America. It reveals how in the 1970s initially, there was a sudden surge in divorce rates with more and more women joining the workforce and divorce laws becoming more
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Kramer, on the other hand, insists that the increasing level of separation among American couples is the direct fallout of the value system and lifestyle that a majority of Americans collectively espouse. Kramer’s argument is that contemporary
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