Divorce in America.

Essay by LeighDogg26University, Bachelor'sA, April 2003

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Sixty percent of marriages in the United States end in divorce. So ask yourself, what is happening to the family? I found this statistic appalling. My parents got married at the age of sixteen, and twenty-one years later they are still together and very happy. This past summer my boyfriend of four years proposed to me and I chose this social problem as my topic for my analysis paper so I could understand why so many marriages in America fail and what I could do to prevent my marriage from becoming a part of this statistic.

Chances are someone in your family, possibly even yourself, has been divorced. It is highly uncommon for people today not to at least know someone who has been divorced. Something harder to imagine is just how seriously divorce was taken at one time. In America's past it was once meant to symbolize failure, capriciousness, and immorality.

People who got divorced were originally seen as social outcasts; those one shouldn't associate with. The more common divorce became, however, the less stigmatized it had also become. Divorce in American society transformed from a meaning of failure to one of opportunity and self-accomplishment. It was no longer a symbol of shame and thus divorce rates sprouted everywhere. Several functions of society can be viewed through the institution of divorce in America as it came to be a sign of personal change and development.

In understanding the function of divorce in society, one must realize its interpretation through the structural functionalist view. This aspect is crucial in developing a proper comprehension of divorce in American society as we saw it in past years as well as in current society. Structural functionalism is the most basic and primitive of perspectives born to sociological thought. Beginning with Auguste Comte, the...