Question and answer — 2sources Essay Example

  • Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
    High School
  • Page:
  • Words:


The deinstitutionalization of marriage is a widely debatable concept. While some scholars view it as a social loss, others view it as an inevitable historical change (Coontz 146). He further alleges that the shift from arranged marriages to love matches was as a result different changes which eventually weakened those marriage functions that had defined their place in the society for many years (150). These changes can be defined as social, economics, political and cultural (Coontz, 155).

The emergence of sedentary agriculture affected the marriage institution. Marriage thus shifted to an important institution for the management of political and economic affairs (Hughes 709). Additionally people began to consider marriage as an important relationship that is entered into for not only sexual attraction but companionship and love (Coontz 157).

Coontz suggests that expansion of the market economy as wells as wage labour which emerged in the late 17th century unravelled marriage which had been institutionalized for several years (157). Economic separation of family members in addition to the split between women and men’s access to attractively paying jobs resulted into the creation of the household of the male breadwinner as well as the ideal of separate spheres (Hughes 712). The economic changes realised also weaken the power of kin and parents over the young people. The enlightenment and freedom afforded in the market economy led to the new philosophical and political ideas championing for individual rights as well as the ideas of democracy (Coontz 159).

By the 18th century parental choice had been replaced by individual choice. People were therefore encouraged to marry for love. The way people viewed marriage eventually changed. Marriage was thus considered as a private partnership between two people rather than a link in the larger political and economic system (Coontz 160).


There have been numerous debates that living alone poses a great threat to the domination of the family unit the relationships of the heterosexual nature. The evidence to these views is, however, mixed. Hughes argues that people in LAT and pure relationships have been viewed as a threat to couple relationships (708). This is because co-residence is centrally placed in couple relationships (Coontz 154). Many feel that those living alone are reprioritising and decentring couple relationships in their lives. Living apart is thus largely considered abnormal and only understandable only as a reaction to severe peripheral constrictions. Yet, close examinations of these people, their hopes, expectations as well as motivations reveal otherwise (Hughes 712).

To some, living apart is a new family form where both intimacy and pre-existing commitments can be successfully pursued (Hughes 715). LATs may sometimes de-prioritize couple relationships and lay more emphasis on friendship. Yet; most people living alone look at it as a means of gaining independence prior to partnering. To others, pure relationships and LATs are just stages on way to marriage and cohabitation. Living alone often coincides with romantic love and the search for a soul mate (Coontz 158).The LATs are therefore not moving past the family as radical pioneers but are both conservative and cautious. They simply do not show commitment and are more liberal in regard to marriage. Hughes thus states that those living alone are therefore not a threat to supremacy of the heterosexual relationships but rather a way of coming up with new means of maintaining the heterosexual couples ideal (721).

Works cited

Coontz, S. Marriage: A History. Viking, Newyork, 2005.

Hughes, J.“The decentring of couple relationship: An examination of young adults living alone.” Journal of Sociology, Vol 51. No 3, 2014, pp 707-721.