Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Marriage, Money and Migration

Stephanie Coontz in this piece puts forward that marriage today increasingly marks stability and achievement, as well as commitment and all the rest of what's usually associated with a ring on a finger. And so the wedding, like other areas of society, has become another marker of stratification...

"So the widening economic gap between haves and have-nots that America has experienced in recent decades is increasingly reflected in a widening marriage gap as well. Today two-thirds of people with a college degree are married, compared with less than half of those with a high school degree or less.

Those who begin married life with the most emotional and material advantages reap the greatest gains in those same areas from marriage. The very people who would benefit most from having a reliable long-term partner are the ones least likely to be able to find such a partner or sustain such a relationship."

How does this affect marriage as a marker of integration among immigrants? Immigrants often marry younger than other Americans, but now marriage is increasingly associated with stability and achievement... does this spell more tension as they navigate a new identity or another green pasture of the 'immigrant advantage'?

For the full read: http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/11/22/coontz.marriage.pew/

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