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Family Life in an Anti-Family Setting: A Critique of Marriage and Divorce

Roslyn Feldberg and Janet Kohen
The Family Coordinator
Vol. 25, No. 2 (Apr., 1976), pp. 151-159
DOI: 10.2307/582794
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/582794
Page Count: 9
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Family Life in an Anti-Family Setting: A Critique of Marriage and Divorce
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Abstract

The high rates of divorce and remarriage indicate that many spouses are unhappy in their experience of family life, yet they continue to look to marriage for certain satisfactions. After examining the ideology of the family it is concluded that people are taught to meet their emotional needs within marriage: the desire for love, intimacy and a sense of social belonging motivate people to marry. The failure of family life is traced to its complex dependence on the capitalist corporate order and the particular sex-based division of labor that is a product of that order. Family members are faced with demands from external organizations which prevent them from responding to each other's personal needs; therefore, the family fails to provide the hoped-for satisfactions. This failure is interpreted by most people as a private problem and the spouses divorce and remarry in an attempt to find fulfillment in family life. Particular emphasis is given to the woman's special responsibility for the emotional life of her spouse and children.

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