An Ethnographic Approach to Divorce and Separation
Recent decades have seen spectacular increases in the levels of divorce and separation across the Western world. This important development is having a radical impact on the conduct and nature of family relationships. This book offers an original investigation of these critical transformations through an ethnographic analysis of post-divorce family life in Britain and provides insightful answers to vexing questions, such as:- What cultural values and ideologies motivate and shape concerns over relationships when marriage ends?- Which relationships continue and why?- What cultural values underpin the financial transactions that take place or (more commonly) fail to take place after divorce?Drawing on extensive interviews with those most affected by divorce, the author argues that the positive sentiments traditionally associated with the notion of kinship are wholly inadequate when it comes to understanding divorce, but that kinship can provide an illuminating window through which to consider the breakdown of marital relations.This book represents a significant contribution to current debates over the changing form and expression of relationships in Western society in the late twentieth century.
Bob Simpson Senior Lecturer in Anthropology,University of Durham