On Marriage

Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered MarriageMy husband and I just had our 4th anniversary past Friday. Well, that is not really relevant, but I just heard a good program about marriage on Diane Rehm show this morning.

It’s an interview with Stephanie Coontz, the author of “Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage.”
She throws in facts from history to analyze marriage today. Starting with something like “for 1000’s of years, people didn’t get married for love. Getting married for love is a radical idea”… The way she does it is so objective it lacks sympathy -that’s probably normal for a sociologist talking about her subject matter, but not usual for people who talks about marriage in general. In fact that’s what I liked about her talk.

But at the same time it’s surprising that she doesn’t sound like a cold-hearted theorist at all. Rather, she comes off as a really curious person who is so eager to find the truth about marriage, relationship, and family.

The sound file of the program is now online (link to the program pagex). If you are married, thinking about getting married, or just curious about what she says, I think it’s worth listening!

One thought on “On Marriage

  1. Hi,

    I’m one those sociologists — well, in my former life anyway. Stephanie Coontz is an interesting writer and researcher, I agree. I think it was originally Lillian Rubin who argued that the reason why divorce was on the rise in the 20th century was precisely because we it became a realm that was supposed to be strictly about love. When people put so much pressure on the institution to conform to that ideal, it’s no wonder people become disillusioned. Another sociologist, whose name escapes me at the moment, also pointed out that we started living longer, which was another reason why we saw more divorces. Children lived in “broken” homes in the past — single parent households and step-families. They were just “broken” because of death. 🙂

    Congratulations on your anniversary!

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