Individualism and Marriage: Ideal Types for Making Sense of the Relationship between Self and Sacrifice

Individualism and Marriage: Ideal Types for Making Sense of the Relationship between Self and... The question of how the individual and group relate is one that has long interested social theorists. Changes in family form and structure in the contemporary West resituate this question in a contentious public debate regarding how the prevalence of new family forms may contribute or be deleterious to the well-being of individuals and families. Sociological discourse on marriage and the family generally tends to mirror this debate by dichotomizing individualism and commitment and self and marriage, resulting in an obfuscation of our understanding of the forms and styles in marriage. In order to clarify and advance this discussion, we show how individualism and commitment are mutually required in a modern world. We follow this by outlining a logically-derived typology that, along with a committed individualist and a group conformer, includes two intermediate types: a self-regulator and a relationship negotiator. We empirically demonstrate the utility of these types by showing how they correspond with the ways that interviewees talk about marriage in six local congregations, and we suggest various social factors that may particularly impact the development of local marriage cultures. These types provide a theoretical frame for understanding how individualism and commitment are intertwined and require each other. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Sociology Springer Journals

Individualism and Marriage: Ideal Types for Making Sense of the Relationship between Self and Sacrifice

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Social Sciences; Sociology, general; Social Sciences, general; Cross Cultural Psychology; Personality and Social Psychology
ISSN
0162-0436
eISSN
1573-7837
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11133-017-9357-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The question of how the individual and group relate is one that has long interested social theorists. Changes in family form and structure in the contemporary West resituate this question in a contentious public debate regarding how the prevalence of new family forms may contribute or be deleterious to the well-being of individuals and families. Sociological discourse on marriage and the family generally tends to mirror this debate by dichotomizing individualism and commitment and self and marriage, resulting in an obfuscation of our understanding of the forms and styles in marriage. In order to clarify and advance this discussion, we show how individualism and commitment are mutually required in a modern world. We follow this by outlining a logically-derived typology that, along with a committed individualist and a group conformer, includes two intermediate types: a self-regulator and a relationship negotiator. We empirically demonstrate the utility of these types by showing how they correspond with the ways that interviewees talk about marriage in six local congregations, and we suggest various social factors that may particularly impact the development of local marriage cultures. These types provide a theoretical frame for understanding how individualism and commitment are intertwined and require each other.

Journal

Qualitative SociologySpringer Journals

Published: Jul 13, 2017

References

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