Evolution and Transformation of the Marriage Institution:
Analyzing Empirical Indicators


Gurko T.A.

Dr. Sci. (Sociol.), Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia tgurko@yandex.ru

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250014117-1
ID of the Article: 8636


For citation:

Gurko T.A. Evolution and Transformation of the Marriage Institution: Analyzing Empirical Indicators. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2021. No 5. P. 58-69




Abstract

The need to develop the theoretical heritage of A.G. Kharchev predetermined the purpose of the article. It is based on A. Cherlin’s statement about the difference between evolutionary and transformational changes in the institution of marriage as an alternative to the arguments about deinstitutionalization. Deviations (practices and attitudes) are considered as signs of transformation, and variations – the evolution of the institution of marriage. A hypothetical set of practices that can be qualified as deviations and variations of normative marital behavior and normative marital attitudes are presented. Practices and attitudes as indicators of deviations and variations were assessed on the basis of the analysis of subsamples of husbands and wives (RLMS-HSE 2002, 2003, 2009 and 2019) men and women (RLMS-HSE 1994, 2000, 2009, 2019, ESS-2018, VNDN-2019), as well as statistics and results of research. Divorce, premarital sexual relations and attitudes to their acceptability, pregnancies before marriage wives‘ attitudes to symmetrical distribution of roles are identified as deviations. In addition, more young husbands, especially those with higher education, have a strong influence on family decision-making compared to older husbands. The matriarchal type of decision-making that prevailed in the Soviet era in the conditions of the socialist economy, when both spouses had approximately equal salaries, is being transformed in the conditions of the market economy. Variations of normative marital behavior can be considered as stepfamilies, childlessness in marriage, acceptability of extramarital sex and opportunities for adoption of children by same-sex couples, cohabitation before marriage or instead of marriage without children, births outside marriage (the child is registered only by the mother), cohabitation of biological parents, i.e. fragile families. The paper shows a tendency to reduce the proportion of married people with secondary education in comparison to those with higher education, not only among men, but also among women. The data confirming the advantages of marriage for both men and women, especially in the elderly age, are presented. Husbands agree with the conservative distribution of roles regardless of age, while the share of such wives decreases in younger ages. Even among young spouses with higher education, there are almost twice as many conservative husbands as wives. This divergence of role expectations provokes a potential basic conflict in marriages. More young husbands and wives hold attitudes to the permissibility of sex outside of marriage, with the age of such spouses decreases. There is no data on the behavior of spouses in this area. The institution of marriage, at least in Russia, is developing and there is no reason to say that, at the beginning of the 21th century, it is deinstitutionalized.


Keywords
marriage; institution; evolution; transformation; variation; deviation; spouse; child; sex; age; role; wellbeing

References

Burhanova F.B. (2004) Current Marriage in Bushkortostan. Ufa: RIO BushGU. (In Russ.)

Cherlin A.J. (2020) Degrees of Change: An Assessment of the Deinstitutionalization of Marriage Thesis. Journal of Marriage and Family. Vol. 82. No. 1: 62–80. DOI: 10.1111/jomf.12605.

Cherlin A.J. (2012) Goode's World Revolution and Family Patterns: A Reconsideration at Fifty Years. Population and Development Review. Vol. 38. No. 4: 577–607. DOI: 10.1111/j.1728–4457.

Churilova E., Chumarina V. (2014) Nonmarital Fertility and Premarital Conceptions in Russia: Parents’ Deliberate Decision? Voprosy Statistiki. No. 7: 43–49. DOI: 10.34023/2313-6383-2014-0-7-43-49. (In Russ.)

Coontz S. (2004) The World Historical Transformation of Marriage. Journal of Marriage and Family. Vol. 66. No. 4: 974–979. DOI: 10.1111/j.0022-2445.2004.00067.x.

Golod S.I. (1998) Family and Marriage: Historical and Sociological Analysis. Saint-Petersburg: Petropolis. (In Russ.)

Goode W.J. (1963) World Revolution and Family Patterns. New York: The Free Press.

Gurko T.A. (2008) Marriage and Parenting in Russia. Moscow: Institut sotsiologii RAN. (In Russ.)

Gurko T.A., Orlyansky S.A., Tarchenko V.S. (2019) Students’ Behavior and Attitudes in the Private Sphere. Vestnik Nizhegorodskogo universiteta im. N.I. Lobachevskogo. Seriya: Sotsialnye nauki [Vestnik of Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod. Social Sciences]. No. 4: 67–78. DOI: 10.24412/1811-5942-2019-456-67-78. (In Russ.)

Hochschild A.R. (1979) Emotion Work, Feeling Rules, and Social Structure. American Journal of Sociology. 1979. Vol. 85. No. 3: 551–575. DOI: 10.1086/227049.

Kharchev A.G. (ed.) (1972) Dynamics of Women Position Change and the Family: The 12th International Workshop on Family Research. Moscow: IKSI AN SSSR; SSA. (In Russ.)

Kharchev A.G. (1979) Marriage and Family in the USSR. 2nd ed., rev. and exp. Moscow: Mysl. (In Russ.)

Kim A.J., Zulueta J.O. (2020) Japanese Families and COVID-19: “Self-Restraint”, Confined Living Spaces, and Enhanced Interactions. Journal of Comparative Family Studies. Vol. 51. No. 3–4: 360–368. DOI: 10.3138/jcfs.51.3-4.011.

Lebow J.L. (2020) Family in the Age of COVID-19. Family Process. Vol. 59. No. 2: 309–312. DOI: 10.1111/ famp.12543.

Lian B., Yoon S. (2020) Burdens, Resilience, and Mutual Support: A Comparative Study of Families in China and South Korea Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of Comparative Family Studies. Vol. 51. No. 3–4: 337–346. DOI: 10.3138/jcfs.51.3-4.009.

Lundberg S., Pollak R.A. (2015) The Evolving Role of Marriage: 1950–2010. The Future of Children. Vol. 25. No. 2: 29–50. DOI: 10.1353/FOC.2015.0011.

Magomedov A.A. (1999) Family in the North Caucasus. Stavropol: SGU. (In Russ.)

Martin C., Cherlin A., Cross-Barnet C. (2011) Living Together Apart in France and the United States. Population. Vol. 66. No. 3–4: 561–581. DOI: 10.1353/pop.2011.0025.

Matskovsky M.S. (1989) Sociology of the Family: Problems of Theory, Methodology, and Methods. Ed. by G.S. Batygin. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.)

Mikheeva A.R. (2001) Marriage, Family, Parenthood: Sociological and Demographic Aspects. Novosibirsk: Novosibirsk State University. (In Russ.)

Parker K., Stepler R. (2017) As U.S. Marriage Rate Hovers at 50%, Education Gap in Marital Status Widens. Pew Research Center. September 14. URL: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/09/14/asu-s-marriage-rate-hovers-at-50-education-gap-in-marital-status-widens/ (accessed 12.11.2020).

Parsons T. (1955) The American Family: Its Relations to Personality and to the Social Structure // Parsons T., Bales R.F. (eds) Family, Socialization, and Interaction Process. Glencoe, IL: Free Press: 3–33.

Shevchenko I.O. (2016) Step-families: Relations and problems. Vestnik RGGU. Seriya: filosofiya, sotsiologiya, iskusstvovedenie [RSUH/RGGU Bulletin. Series: Philosophy. Social Studies. Art Studies]. No. 4(6): 61–68. (In Russ.)

The Demographic Yearbook of Russia, 2019: Statistical Handbook. (2019) Moscow: Rosstat. (In Russ.)

Tolts M. (2020) On the Influence of Marital Status on Fertility. Demoscope. 2020. No. 871–872. URL: http://www.demoscope.ru/weekly/2020/0871/nauka03.php (accessed 10.12.2020). (In Russ.)

Vereshchagina A.V. (2009) Transformation of the Family Institute and Demographic Processes in Russian Society. Extended abstract of Cand. Sci. (Sociol.) Dissertation. Rostov-on-Don. (In Russ.)

White J.M., Klein D.M. (2008) Family Theories. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Content No 5, 2021