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Bringing the `Unclear' Family Into Focus: Divorce and Re-Marriage in Contemporary Britain

Bob Simpson
Man
New Series, Vol. 29, No. 4 (Dec., 1994), pp. 831-851
DOI: 10.2307/3033971
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3033971
Page Count: 21
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Bringing the `Unclear' Family Into Focus: Divorce and Re-Marriage in Contemporary Britain
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Abstract

Divorce is an increasingly common feature of `family life' in contemporary western society. Yet, the kinship implications of divorce have scarcely been considered by anthropologists. This article argues that divorce creates important patterns of social continuity as well as establishing discontinuities. These patterns are shaped by a complex interplay of state concern and private interests. Through the use of detailed narratives, the article illustrates how the re-ordering of kinship relationships which divorce necessitates is conducted in different cultural and socio-economic circumstances. It Identifies important links between the availability of material resources after divorce and the ability for divorced people to maintain continuity in kin relationships.

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